Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Jet Stream Behaving Badly?


The predictions for future weather and climate change is for Warmer Wetter Wilder winters and hotter drier summers. Our current UK weather is living up to the WWW category for this winter. However take a look at North America where life threatening cold weather is being caused by a shift in the polar vortex.
Our experience last spring and the 2012 winter got the global warming sceptics rubbing their hands and saying this is not global warming. Well I think the current expression is climate change.

Weather experts are now blaming much of our unusual weather patterns on the jet stream which is getting kinky. Scientists explain the reason for this on the shrinking ice sheets of the artic which results in the surface having a greater area of darker colour (sea instead of ice) which absorbs more heat. This in turn slows down the jet stream and causes it to meander. Hence it becomes kinked with the weather becoming unbalanced. At present we have it warmer, wetter, windier and South America has record high temperatures whereas in the US the brass monkeys are running for shelter. So it depends where the fickle finger of fate chooses to kink up the jet stream but I am sure it is much more complicated than that.

Everyone has an opinion on whether climate change and global warming is happening but as more and more scientists now agree it is can we afford to take the chance and bury our heads in the sand.
Even Mr Cameron whilst visiting flooded areas said we must expect more situations like this to happen more often and we should make plans to deal with it.

Looking at the evidence I believe that we should expect more extremes of weather and higher sea levels.

As a coastal warden I have had the pleasure of working on a project called 2150 Coastal communities which has been consulting planning for the future taking into account climate change. Take a look at the website  http://kentcoastalcommunities2150.org.uk/

You might say why is an old git like me involved in a project like this as no doubt I will not be around to see the outcome of the predictions. However it is very likely that my grandkids will and have to deal with changing weather patterns. Whether the current seesawing of our weather is the start I cannot say but the old boy scouts motto of "be prepared" seems to be prudent.