UK nearing 'tipping point' of terrifying weather phenomenon, warn scientists

Brits could face a massive change in the UK, leading to an ‘unrecognisable’ and broken country.

UK could collapse in 2025
© ELYSIUM / alphacore
UK could collapse in 2025

The UK is known for having rubbish weather, and that is certainly true. However, although the climate is very wet, it is rare that temperatures drop below zero. This is because of a certain phenomenon that prevents our country from getting too cold: the Gulf Stream. Have you ever seen The Day After Tomorrow? The film tells the story of a superstorm hitting the UK and freezing the country over - all due to the collapse of the Gulf Stream. Scary, but fictional. However, according to a study carried out by Utrecht University in the Netherlands, we may not be that far off a similar fate.

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Experts have explained that the Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025. Speaking to MailOnline, specialists warned that Britain could see wintery conditions as far as 15C colder than usual. Here’s what that would look like.

What is the Gulf Stream?

The Gulf Stream is part of a much wider system of currents, which is officially known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). According to researchers’ findings, published in The Guardian:

Amoc carries warm ocean water northwards towards the pole where it cools and sinks, driving the Atlantic’s currents. But an influx of fresh water from the accelerating melting of Greenland’s ice cap and other sources is increasingly smothering the currents.

In the UK, its collapse would cause temperatures to drop far lower than what we are used to. Professor David Thornalley of University College London said this could have dire consequences. The climate scientist warned that ‘unfortunately people would die due to stronger winter storms and flooding, and many old and young would be vulnerable to the very cold winter temperatures’.

Jonathan Bamber gave a terrifying example, stating that the plummeting temperatures would lead to an ‘unrecognisable’ Britain, with winters ‘more typical of Arctic Canada’.

When will this happen?

Although experts agree that climate change is causing massive problems and may well lead to the collapse of the Gulf Stream, there is some deliberation over the exact date this could happen. The bracket is very large: from 2025 at the earliest all the way to 2095. Most settle on a central estimate of 2050, and all agree that such an event would have a global impact.

Professor Thornalley explained that the change in temperatures, alongside rising sea levels, would lead to issues all over the world:

Many millions would be affected and suffer from drought, famine and flooding, in countries that are already struggling to deal with these issues.
There would be huge numbers of climate refugees and geopolitical tensions would rise.

This comes after mathematicians claimed the end of the world is coming sooner than expected, so things are not looking that good. According to this recent study, the AMOC is showing signs of reaching a ‘tipping point’, causing major concern amongst experts that its collapse could come within our lifetimes.

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Sources used:

DailyMail: What will happen to the UK if the Gulf Stream collapses in 2025? Scientists warn Britain would be plunged into a deep freeze - with winter conditions up to 15°C colder than usual

The Guardian: Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025, study suggests

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