La Niña expected to contribute
From the Daily Star, 14 August 2016
Climate boffins believe the UK’s topsy-turvy climate is in for a chilly twist within the next few years as three major forms of climate change trigger “substantial cooling”.
Drastic changes in ocean conditions, greenhouse gases and a weakening of the sun threaten increasingly worsening winters of blistering blizzards and severe snowstorms for years to come.
This cocktail of climate threats, paired with “hasty climate policies”, could mean “rolling blackouts” in the UK over the next few years, plunging the country into long period of darkness.
These “worse case scenario” climate threats will hit the elderly hardest, leaving “some pensioners alone in the dark” on a freezing nights resigned to a “lonely death”.
An intense La Nina weather front could wreak havoc on the UK’s climate, photo Getty
It is thought these will be brought about for the most part by a massive decrease in solar activity, meaning fewer “sunspots” and solar flares to warm up earth.
Scientists recently warned the sun’s activity is at its lowest for 100 years, meaning earth is experiencing eerily similar conditions to the period when the last mini ice age hit.
This drop in sunspot activity leads to a so-called Maunder Minimum, which is believed to be responsible for the cripplingly cold winters Europe experienced three centuries ago.
The last time Britain entered a Maunder minimum period was in the 1600s, when temperatures sunk so low, London’s river Thames froze over.
Drawing on 400 years of sunspot observations, experts believe we are heading for a similar temperature “minimum”.
However, Grahame Madge, meteorologist for the Met Office, told Daily Star Online although a “grand solar minimum” is expected, it will do little to counteract global warming caused by man-made change.
Another major factor in the predicted cool down could be the switch from an usually strong El Nino to a La Nina weather front in the pacific ocean.
Meteorologist for AccuWeather Tyler Roys told Daily Star Online La Nina could contribute to the chilly mix.
He said that the onset of La Nina – which is associated with cooler temperatures – has a much more drastic effect on weather in the British Isles and could spell a climate cool down.
He said: “Looking at the similarities of 1998 to last years El Nino event, one can assume there could be such a drop off.” La Nina has more of an effect on the weather for the British Isles than El Nino does.
“A La Nina that is based over the eastern Pacific Ocean tends for favour a cooler and drier then normal weather pattern for much of western Europe.”
The Met Office said the onset of La Nina from 2017 is likely to “buck the trend” in terms of record breaking global temperature averages, predicting a cool down across the globe.