Sunday, 09 October 2011 11:11 Jonathan Leake, The Sunday Times
Britain should brace itself for another freezing winter with the return of La Niña, a climate phenomenon known to disrupt global weather, ministers have warned.
La Niña, in which cold water piles up in the equatorial eastern Pacific, is linked to extreme winter weather in America. Some suggest that last year’s strong La Niña was linked to Britain’s icy winter, one of the coldest on record.
The connection between La Niña and weather in Europe is scientifically uncertain but ministers have told transport organisations and emergency services to take no chances.
The warning coincides with research from the Met Office suggesting Europe could be facing a return of the “little ice age” that gripped Britain 300 years ago, causing decades of bitter winters.
The prediction, to be published in Nature, is based on observations showing a slight fall in the sun’s emissions of ultraviolet radiation, which over a long period may trigger mini ice ages in Europe.
Stay Tuned for more on this issue once the study is published in Nature.