Thursday, September 20, 2012

Ban drilling say MPs as 'wake up call' shows Arctic ice melt could cause colder winters in UK

Past climate change suggests the warming of the Arctic could cause a massive release of carbon, speeding up global warming. Photo: REX

The melting of Arctic ice because of climate change will cause cold, dry winters in the UK, MPs have warned.

The Environmental Audit Committee warned that the melting of sea ice is now happening so fast the Arctic could be ice free in summer “in the next few years”.

Joan Whalley, Chairwoman of the committee, said the UK weather pattern will be affected by the huge amount of fresh, cold water melting into the sea.

“There is evidence that the melting Arctic may be affecting the gulf stream currents that bring warmth to the UK and Northern Europe and so may be behind the unusually cold winters that have been hitting the UK over the last few years,” she said.

“The rapid melting of the Arctic and the effect it is having on the UK should be a wake-up call - climate change is real, it is happening now and it will have an impact on all of us.”

In evidence to the committee, Dr Julia Slingo, Chief Scientist at the Met Office, said colder winters also tend to be drier as snow has less water content than rain. Read More