Invisible Dust

London | Tuesday 21 November
Pollution level: Moderate

Bitter cold continues in Britain


25/03/2013

Image courtesy of cherwell.org

Snow in March isn’t so uncommon in the UK, but Great Britain is once again facing extreme floods this year, as well as heavy snow and blizzards, with up to 20 – 40 centimetres of snow. Extreme winds will turn that snowfall into blizzards. Large parts of the nation may experience flooding. The cold weather is due to a dramatic loss of Arctic sea ice according to scientists.

More of this kind of extreme weather across the globe is to be expected a result of climate change, according to scientists.

“The sea ice is going rapidly. It’s 80% less than it was just 30 years ago. There has been a dramatic loss. This is a symptom of global warming and it contributes to enhanced warming of the Arctic,” said Jennifer Francis, research professor with the Rutgers Institute of Coastal and Marine Science.

This is what is affecting the jet stream and leading to the extreme weather we are seeing in mid-latitudes,” she said. “It allows the cold air from the Arctic to plunge much further south. ” she said.

Last year Francis warned that 2012′s record sea ice melt could lead to a cold winter in the UK and northern Europe.

Vladimir Petoukhov, Professor of Earth system analysis at Potsdam Institute in Germany, research also suggests the loss of ice this year could be changing the direction of the jet stream which brings warm weather to the UK.

Invisible Dust’s current project, Invisible Waves, focuses on Earth Observation. Students from the Hounsdown school in Southampton are working with artist Phil Coy and scientists from the Royal Observatory and the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory to observe temperature changes on the Earth using satellite imagery. They will use archive footage to create their own videos expressing their findings.

 

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