The Other I

December 20, 2010

Omg, this might BE global warming

Here in Britain we are facing what is literally breaking records for cold.  Not just the last ten years, or “since the 1962 winter,” but quite possibly the lowest temperatures ever recorded in modern Britain.  Thankfully they do not extend to the ice age 15,000 years ago.  They don’t even extend to the 17th century mini-ice age when people crossed the River Thames in London on foot and in New York walked from Manhattan to Staten Island.

Yet modern records are bad enough.  During the winter of 1962 (which those who lived here then remember and shutter), it did not get over 5 degrees any where in Britain before mid-March.

This morning a meteorologist reminded me of something I’ve known for years but have tried to forget.  Instead of global warming making Britain a warmer, if wetter, place, it could shift the Gulf Stream south.  In which case our weather here in Britain will resemble that of Siberia or Alaska which are on the same latitude.

This winter the Gulf Stream has shifted south, and is highly unlikely to return here this year.  And it does feel like Siberia or Alaska right now.

Well, we will survive that.  But what if the Gulf Stream never returns?  I do not find the scientific evidence comforting.

As they say, one should be careful what one prays for.

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