While nobody doubts that the last couple of winters have been incredibly cold, is this a sign that climate change is over; was exaggerated, or that there is no longer any need to be environmentally friendly and buy eco friendly products?
Having experienced an early start to the winter and one of the coldest on record last year, many people are arguing that this is proof that global warming and climate change has been exaggerated – or even isn't happening.
Despite the harshness of the winters we have been experiencing, however. the last year is still regarded as the warmest on record for almost a century and cold winters could become part-and-parcel of the effect of climate change.
But how so? Well, the earth's climate is an incredibly complex mechanism where small changes in climate having untold effects on the weather systems – and harsh winters are part of this.
One reason our winters are becoming harsh is that the mean temperature of the sea has risen and the oceans are one of the most important influences on climate.
The ocean moves heat from the tropics to the colder climates of the north. When the temperatures increase, so does the speed of this heat conveyors – the most famous being El Nino. In doing so it distorts weather patterns all around the equatorial regions of the planet which leads to cold fronts in areas in the northern hemisphere.
So, despite the cold winters, climate change is still a real threat, and along with harsher winters we can also expect wetter summers, more flooding and continual melting of glaciers, which too effect the oceans.
It is, therefore, essential we continue to monitor energy use, continue to buy eco friendly products, and cut down on the emissions we pump out into the atmosphere; otherwise we may find winters get increasingly harsher and summers hotter and wetter.