Will Britain be the next Newfoundland?

From the Economist:
An ocean current in the North Atlantic is getting weaker. That may be bad news for north-west Europe…
“Those who worry about climate change worry about many things: rising temperatures, rising sea levels, changes in rainfall and stronger storms, for example. One of the things they worry about most, though, is changes in the circulation of the ocean’s currents. That is because these currents are the main way that heat is redistributed from the tropics, where there is a lot of it, to the polar regions, where there is not. If the currents shifted, it would mean that temperatures in some parts of the world changed much more than they would merely as a result of the local atmosphere warming up as heat-trapping greenhouse gases accumulate. Indeed, it could mean that in some places temperatures fell, rather than rising.”
“The result, when the numbers were crunched, suggests that the volume of water being carried by the Atlantic Conveyor Belt has dropped by 30%.
“If that is correct, and more importantly, if it were sustained, the result for places such as Britain would be a 1°C drop in average temperature—enough to be noticeable. If it were not merely sustained, but got bigger (and the 2004 figure was larger than that for 1998), the temperature drop would be greater. And if the conveyor belt stops altogether, as it has in the past on more than one occasion, Britain’s climate would come to resemble that of Newfoundland. The questions, of course, are why is this happening, and can anything be done?”
Will Britain freeze?
Read all about it.

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