ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Education and Science»
  • Geography, Nature & Weather

Britain's Rainy Summer

Updated on July 15, 2012

Are we to blame for our rainy summer?


The UK has just experienced the rainiest June on record (according to the Times newspaper) and it could be the rainiest July too. With the school holidays about to begin, this dismal forecast breeds horror into the hearts of stay-at-home mums everywhere.

The Gulf Stream System

The North Atlantic Drift Ocean Current
The North Atlantic Drift Ocean Current | Source

But what is causing this dramatic shift in weather patterns?


To answer this question we have to look at the mysterious climate-controlling effects of the Gulf Stream, the most important ocean-current system in the northern hemisphere.

The Gulf Stream, which stretches from Florida to North Western Europe, incorporates several ocean currents, including the North Atlantic Drift. This relatively warm current has a moderating effect on the climate of Western Europe. It is the reason England doesn’t get as cold as Canada in winter, which lies at the same latitude. It is also the reason Norwegian ports don’t freeze over during the year.

Without the North Atlantic Drift’s moderating effect, the average temperature in England would be 5’C lower than normal, causing freezing winters and a host of related problems.

Factors that influence the North Atlantic Drift include temperature and salinity. Water in the north Atlantic is cold and dense, and runs very deep. Once it enters the Gulf of Mexico, it warms considerably, resurfaces and flows back north as the Gulf Stream.

Global warming – a disruptive force?


According to New Scientist Magazine, the warm waters of the North Atlantic Drift are being disrupted by a growing amount of freshwater entering the Arctic Ocean.

This could be a result of global warming – melting icebergs, increased rainfall, changing wind patterns.

The danger is that this influx of cooler water from the Arctic will disrupt the sensitive ‘conveyer belt’ system of the North Atlantic Drift preventing it from doing its job properly. Currently it brings warm surface water north from the Gulf of Mexico and sends the cold, deep water back.

Scientists have been worried for some time that the effects of global warming could interrupt the North Atlantic Drift, causing dramatic climate change, but so far there has been little evidence of that happening.

Until now...

Extreme weather conditions are being seen all over the globe. North America is experiencing record high temperatures, a heat wave which is being blamed for 30 deaths this month. According to todayonline.com temperatures in Washington pushed past 40’C on Saturday (7th July, 2012). The National Weather Service has issued excessive heat warnings.

Russia on the other hand is plagued by rampant flooding due to unprecedented rainfall. This has resulted in over a hundred deaths and thousands left homeless.

Record high rainfalls are being experienced in the UK. According to the Times, an average of 44mm of rain fell across England and Wales in the first six days of the month – well over the monthly average.

Is global warming to blame?

Global warming has lead to an average increase in the global temperature which scientists tell us results in extreme weather patterns – from stronger storms and hotter heatwaves to drier droughts and damper downpours.

Is this unprecedented rainy summer a direct result of global warming? Have we finally pushed the fragile weather systems over the edge?

Who really knows for sure? But what forecasters have assured us is the rain is not going to quit anytime soon.

So to all the mums out there, you’d best invest in raincoats and wellies. It’s going to be a very long summer holiday.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • webcopyguru profile image
      Author

      webcopyguru 5 years ago from London, UK

      Oops! Thanks JBastow. Will rectify immediately... :)

    • JBastow profile image

      JBastow 5 years ago from Gateshead United Kingdom

      Very interesting hub, I learnt all about weather systems and how they work in geography this year and I found it very interesting. Also you may want to re-read the last section of your hub as you have spelt Wellies wrong and instead you have wrote willies hahaha. Great hub!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)