/ Climate change won't necessarily mean a warmer Britain

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iksander on 28 Dec 2012
Maybe there is still a future for winter climbing in the UK, if an unpredictable one:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20803992

Prof Palmer explains: "I think it is a bit unwise, and possibly even a bit dangerous, to think that the climate of the UK will just gradually warm and we'll transition to a more balmy southern European climate.

"If the ideas about a more fluctuating jet stream are correct, then in fact what we will be seeing is a climate with many more extremes: both extremes of wetness and flooding on the one hand, and extremes and dryness and possibly even coldness on the other."
Wonko The Sane - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander: It's a bit more than a maybe. Though far from definite.

This has be known to be a possibility for at least 8 years that I know of. We could get more extremes of everything.

We're an island, so a lot of moisture in a warmer summer adds to the risk of flooding.
In the winter, the Atlantic Conveyor may stop bringing warmer water to our vicinity in winters, which, since we're on the same latitude as Moscow........ Well, figure it out!!
Pursued by a bear - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander: The UK climate will remain a maritime one; we can't alter geography. What we understand by that may change, however.

Though I'd welcome another hot summer next year. It's been a few years since the last one.

T.
iksander on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Pursued by a bear: Kamtchatka and Labrador are marine climates too. There's a small part of me that quietly hopes that the Gulf Stream packs up...
Pursued by a bear - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander: Just so. That may be what our understanding has to change to.

T.
John Stainforth - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander:

So you think an ice-age or mini ice-age would be good for us in the UK? Or you mean it would be good for Britain if it was wiped out for a while?
KellyKettle - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to John Stainforth:
> (In reply to iksander)
>
> So you think an ice-age or mini ice-age would be good for us in the UK? Or you mean it would be good for Britain if it was wiped out for a while?

I think he's hoping that cold winters in Britain might make for better conditions and a longer season... I certainly wouldn't object (though my car might, it wasn't happy at all the week recently where it never got above -2).
Only a hill - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to KellyKettle:
Make no mistake, if there is another little ice age then the last thing on our minds (for those of us who survive) will be winter climbing.
Wonko The Sane - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to KellyKettle)
> Make no mistake, if there is another little ice age then the last thing on our minds (for those of us who survive) will be winter climbing.

We'd just invade Australia, surely?
We've a bigger Army, Navy and Air Force. No worries!
Tom Last - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill:

Don't see why not - if we're gonna die anyway, might as well go climbing!
a lakeland climber on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Wonko The Sane:

When global warming was first being talked about (in public at least) which is over 20 years ago, climateologists talked about the UK being more likely to have more "extreme" weather due to the extra energy in the weather system that the warming would bring. There were also thoughts that NW Europe could become colder despite the rest of the world becoming warmer - cut-off of the N Atlantic drift.

ALC
Wonko The Sane - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to a lakeland climber:
> (In reply to Wonko The Sane)
>
> When global warming was first being talked about (in public at least) which is over 20 years ago, climateologists talked about the UK being more likely to have more "extreme" weather due to the extra energy in the weather system that the warming would bring. There were also thoughts that NW Europe could become colder despite the rest of the world becoming warmer - cut-off of the N Atlantic drift.
>
> ALC

Yep, I know.
Which is why I find climate change apoligists so bloody thick. This stuff has been known for a long time but all you ever hear is 'well it ain't the Med, is it?'

Wonko The Sane - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander:
>

* Apologists.
iksander on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to KellyKettle)
> Make no mistake, if there is another little ice age then the last thing on our minds (for those of us who survive) will be winter climbing.

A propoer "ice age" would be a bit over the top, I grant you - even for fans of Kinder Downfall. But a little ice age like the medieval European one wouldn't be a survival threat for most in north west Europe.

Fvcking up the global thermhaline current could mean potentially far worse outcomes (specifically, drought) for other parts of the world - but a total globak apocolypse looks unlikley.
Only a hill - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander:
I still think it would mean total economic collapse, which would result in everyone being too preoccupied with survival to even consider climbing--and then when you take into account the inevitable collapse of the transport network ...
Pursued by a bear - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill: One question that should be considered is the timescale on which such a change might occur. Whilst I believe such switches can be sudden in geological terms, that still would cover a generation or so. We shan't wake up tomorrow, or next year, or in a decade's time, to find a glacier advancing down Coire Leis, still less rolling down the M6.

Societal breakdown won't be a consequence to be considered for a while yet.

T.
KellyKettle - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to Only a hill:
> (In reply to iksander)
> I still think it would mean total economic collapse, which would result in everyone being too preoccupied with survival to even consider climbing--and then when you take into account the inevitable collapse of the transport network ...

Ok, so a full on ice age might be a bit of a disaster... but short of a nuclear winter, there's nothing man-made that could cause that.

Anthropomorphic Climate Change could bring our temperature in line with other regions at our lattitude... which is going to be a bit of a culture shock, but the Muscovites, Georgians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Southern Norwegians and Danes all seem to cope with it and based on what people even further north get up to I imagine our economic system could probably cope with the overall temp of NW Europe dropping a little too.

In any case, if the apocalypse is coming and it's really that Icy... I'll race you all to the top of the Shard, wooden spoon prize to the first person to pierce the ice and break glass.
Eric9Points - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to KellyKettle:
> (In reply to Only a hill)
> [...]
>

> Anthropomorphic Climate Change could bring our temperature in line with other regions at our lattitude... which is going to be a bit of a culture shock, but the Muscovites, Georgians, Latvians, Lithuanians, Southern Norwegians and Danes all seem to cope with it and based on what people even further north get up to I imagine our economic system could probably cope with the overall temp of NW Europe dropping a little too.
>

Well yes, the UK isn't likely to see large changes in *temperature* but the weather will become more extreme in other ways, windier and wetter which will have an effect on our agricultural production. Of course we're not self sufficient in food anyway so the more serious effects of climate change in places like Spain where we get a lot of vegetables from will have a direct effect on us as well, not to mention the knock on economic effects of eco system collapse will have on us as large groups of people in other parts of the world need to find new places to live.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/in_depth/629/629/6528979.stm

.. and of course if the tundra in Siberia and the Canadian shield does thaw out and release vast amounts of methane into the atmosphere then we as a species will be well and truly stuffed.
Eric9Points - on 28 Dec 2012
In reply to iksander:
> Maybe there is still a future for winter climbing in the UK, if an unpredictable one:
>
> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-20803992
>
> Prof Palmer explains: "I think it is a bit unwise, and possibly even a bit dangerous, to think that the climate of the UK will just gradually warm and we'll transition to a more balmy southern European climate.
>
> "If the ideas about a more fluctuating jet stream are correct, then in fact what we will be seeing is a climate with many more extremes: both extremes of wetness and flooding on the one hand, and extremes and dryness and possibly even coldness on the other."

I don't think he's actually saying that Britain will get colder, just that the weather will become more extreme which we know already. After all if there's more heat energy around to power the world's weather it's really a bit of a no brainer that winds will get stronger and the atmosphere will hold and then release more water.

Anyway, to continue my pedantic and boring post, the Department of energy and climate change have produced some very extensive data on how temperatures in the UK could change under different scenarioes here's a link to the middle scenario which it seems we're currently heading for: http://ukclimateprojections.defra.gov.uk/22078

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