Friday, June 24, 2005

Put the bets in early

Every year in London the bookmakers make a killing on a sucker's bet: Whether there will be a white Christmas. We do get snow in London, but I've only seen it much later. The weather we normally have at Christmas is closer to what we would see at Thanksgiving in the Boston area. Hamish Newlands noticed this posting on Jerry Pornelle's site, saying that it looks like the Gulf Stream is shutting down. It's all very hush-hush, unidentified sources stuff, but I'll be watching out for that article in Nature. And maybe I'll make a bet.

Current Chaos Manor mail: "[T]he northern branch of the Gulf Stream is shutting down now, with climate consequences likely as soon as this winter. An informed guess of the likely effects - I won't characterize it as more than that - is a return in northwest Europe and northeast North America to the sort of winters seen from the fourteenth through the eighteenth centuries, when the historical record shows at various points the Hudson freezing over solidly enough to transport massive cannon from Fort Ticonderoga, the Thames freezing over in London, the brackish polders of Holland freezing over, and a variety of bad weather, short growing seasons, and crop failures."

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