You’ll often hear people complaining about how cold the UK is. What the complainers don’t seem to realise is that considering how far north we are, the climate in the UK is actually far warmer than it really should be.
The reason for this warmer climate is the Gulf Stream (or, more accurately, its northern tributary the North Atlantic Drift). If it wasn’t for this huge aquatic conveyor belt bringing warm water to these parts the average temperature in the UK could be far lower.
It’s often been mooted that climate change could have a disastrous effect on the Gulf Stream and, of course, any change in the Gulf Stream will have a knock-on effect on the UK climate. I was therefore very worried to read this article in today’s Guardian which points out that part of the current stopped completely for ten days in November 2004.