Climate change will cool UK and play 'havoc' with weather
UN report says world getting warmer and humans to blame, but UK will cool if Gulf Stream slows
IF you thought the British weather couldn't get any more unpredictable, think again. Temperatures in the UK are set to drop by about 1C as a result of climate change, playing "havoc" with weather patterns, the Daily Telegraph reports.
While the key message delivered by the UN's climate science panel in Stockholm today is that the world is warming - temperatures will rise by more than 2C by the end of the century and man's activity is almost certainly the cause - there are regional variations. The repercussions for the UK will be a drop in temperatures caused by cooler currents in the Atlantic.
In specific terms, the drop will be caused by the disruption of the Gulf Stream, the current carrying warm water from the equator to Britain's west coast. It will "weaken by 20 to 44 per cent by the end of the century", the Daily Telegraph says, precipitating a fall in temperatures across the UK.
The cooling effect of a weaker Gulf Stream will "mask" the effects of climate change in the UK, but weather patterns are likely to become more extreme and less predictable.
Predictions of a weaker Gulf Stream were included in the first installment of a landmark report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Stockholm today. Two more instalments of the report, known as AR5, will be released in the next 12 months.
The IPCC's key message is that scientists are "95 per cent" sure that humans are the "dominant cause" of climate change, the BBC says. Evidence for global warming is "unequivocal" and the so-called ''pause'' in warming over the past 15 years is too short to reflect longer-term trends.
"Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and that concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased," said Qin Dahe, co-chair of the working group who produced the report.
AR5 was compiled by 840 scientists recruited from 195 countries, although British and American scientists made the biggest contribution. ·