Until very recently it appeared as if temperatures around the world were, in general, increasing. However, it would now seem as if the jury is out and the debate as to whether temperatures are increasing or decreasing is far from decided. One thing is certain, climate change is affecting usual weather patterns around the world. Scientists, however, still seem unable to say if these changes are permanent, man-made or simply part of the earth’s life cycle.
In the past the earth has experienced many unusual weather and climate changes. For example, the UK experienced what has been termed a mini ice age, from around 1300 to1850. In more recent years, winters have been getting gradually milder in the UK, that is until the winter of 2010. Various countries around the world also experienced the worst winter weather for many a year, in 2010. The weather was not only bad, it was also prolonged.
When considering the world temperatures though, we must consider different factors.
One of the reasons why Great Britain has a temperate climate is the Gulf Stream. This ocean current helps keep the UK milder than it otherwise would be. A change in the Gulf Stream could in theory begin an ice age in the UK. The warm winds associated with the Gulf Stream also help keep the climate of parts of Europe mild. In the late 1990s and the early part of the 21st Century measurements were taken which seem to indicate that the Gulf Stream is changing.
There is more than one theory regarding the flow of water from the Gulf Stream. Some believe that as ice masses have melted colder water from Siberianwaters have entered the stream and had a negative impact on the temperatures. Others think that the earth is attempting to redress the balance and is trying to counteract problems caused by man-made pollution.
Overall it would seem that, for parts of the world, the likelihoodof temperatures decreasing is just as high as the possibility of temperatures increasing. After all the world is a complex planet. Even without our interference climate and weather changes are inevitable. With increased pollution, de-forestation and more mankind may have tipped the balance further.
Now that scientists are more sceptical about global warming perhaps investigations will begin again in earnest, to see exactly what may be happening. Time will be of the essence, as extremely low temperatures will be just as damaging as high ones. The problems the world will have to face will be different, but just as troublesome.
It is not certain the the temperatures are increasing or decreasing but, right now, it would seem as if we may have a mini ice age to face again, in the not too distant future.