READING, England, April 19 (UPI) — British and German scientists say a link between low solar activity and Atlantic jet streams might explain Europe’s colder than usual past winter.
Scientists at the University of Reading, the U.K. Science and Technology Facilities Council and the Max-Planck Institute for Solar System Research in Germany said people living in regions northeast of the Atlantic Ocean might need to brace themselves for more frequent cold winters in coming years. The researchers said the sun is moving into an era of lower solar activity, which is likely to result in winter temperatures in that area more like those seen at the end of the 17th century.
“This year’s winter in the U.K. has been the 14th coldest in the last 160 years and yet the global average temperature for the same period has been the 5th highest,” Lecturer Michael Lockwood of the University of Reading said. “We have discovered that this kind of anomaly is significantly more common when solar activity is low.”
Lockwood said the trends do not guarantee colder winters, but they do suggest colder winters will become more frequent.
The study appears in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
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