Experts to convene to consider 'unusual' British weather patterns

June 18, 2013 at 3:50 PM
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LONDON, June 18 (UPI) -- Leading British scientists and meteorologists say they will convene to discuss the country's recent "unusual" weather patterns and identify research priorities.

Meeting at the country's Met Office, the researchers will attempt to identify the factors that caused the exceptionally cold winter of 2010-11, the long, wet summer of 2012, and this year's cold spring, the coldest in 50 years, the BBC reported Tuesday.

In December 2010 Britain saw the lowest temperatures recorded for the month in 100 years, while the summer of 2012 was the second wettest summer since record-keeping began, the scientists said.

The researchers said they would be looking at the atmospheric jet stream, arctic sea ice, and ocean circulation as possible factors in Britain's run of abnormal weather.

"The ocean circulation has been stuck in a rather strange pattern for the past 10 years or so, which in fact has given the unusual weather patterns in many parts of the world," Stephen Belcher from the Met Office Hadley Centre said.

Researchers said they would also examine other factors including solar variability and the effect of the El Nino/La Nina weather patterns, but would not be addressing human-made climate change.

"This meeting isn't looking at climate change, it's looking at climate variability in recent seasons," the Met Office's Dan Williams said.

"The aim is to understand some of the causes behind that variability. A lot of those potential causes cannot easily be attributed to climate change.

"The more we can understand about these potential causes, the better advice we can give on near-term climate from a month out to about a year ahead," he said.

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