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Discussion Forum - Environment Matters - Climate Change or Global Warming- which is most correct?


Author: Steph Carter
Posted: Thu 30th Aug 2012, 12:46
Joined: 2011
Local Group: North Yorkshire
Did you know Environmental Sustainability experts all use the phrase "Climate Change", and prefer not to use the term "Global Warming"
This is because, although we know the average temperature of the atmosphere of earth is increasing, there are some areas of the planet that may get cooler as a result of the changes in climate.
One of these areas might, unfortunately be the UK. While the planet's weather is incredibly complex, and not well understood there is a recognised theory that in the short term at least, the UK might get colder. Why? Well it's all to do with ocean currents. Traditionally the Gulf Stream brings warm water from the equator north, across the west coast of Britain. This in turn influences the air temperature, and gives us mild ( and wet) winters for somewhere so near to the North pole. These mild winters are why places like Inverewe Gardens in North West Scotland can grow some tropical plants outdoors.
The theory suggests that the melting of the Arctic ice cap that is now taking place will generate lots of cold melt water, which will head south from the Arctic, and divert the gulf stream south of the UK. If the theory is valid it will mean colder winters and wetter summers.
And all this as a result of gases like Carbon Dioxide that create a warming effect for the planet...Worth thinking about next time you buy a fuel inefficient car, or crank your heating thermostat up!

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