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What is the future for the UK's climate?


Dan
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I’m sure most people have heard about the rise in earth’s temperature because of global warming, but how will this affect England and the UK?

 

I’m wondering because global warming is melting the polar glaciers and that is causing the sea to become less salty which is causing the Gulf Stream to stop and will cause a major drop in the UK’s temperature.

 

So will England be hot because of global warming or cold because of the change in the Gulf Stream?

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Hello

 

The Gulf Stream, or the North Altlantic Conveyor, circulates water about the Atlantic in deep oceans streams or currents (also refered to as rivers).

Highly simplified:

Sea water that has a high concentration of salt is heavier than less salinated water. Within the Conveyor starting by England (cold North Sea) the salty water sinks down and helps to form the deeper Conveyor system. This moves southward down the coast of Europe and Africa, then across to South America and up the America's coast and then redirected back across the Atlantic toward England along the Gulf Stream. So that warm air from the Caribbean is carried along and warms the climate of England and Europe.

As Global warming increases temperature even hotter wind is carried across meaning even warmer European temperatures.

However as Global warming causes melting of ice it is believed it could lead to less salt in Ocean water. Less salt the less heavy the water when cooled, meaning a slowdown in the North Atlantic Conveyor system. As that system slows the effects of the Gulf Stream slows and results is less warm Caribbean air being circulated into England and Europe bringing temperture drop.

Look at Canada and it's cities at the same latitude as English cities and take note of what their average temperature is. As they do not benefit from such warm air circulation, you can begin to understand why some believe if Global Warming continues it could lead to a furture Ice Age in Europe.

 

Mr D

 

btw: the same system is believe to be bringing fertilizer residue from farms in Africa by winds into Caribbean, resulting in Fungal infections of Coral.

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