Sunday, April 29, 2012

Watery light at midday

Back in the UK for a few days – I’m leading our first shareholder meeting, kicking off prototype development, closing up the quarter’s teaching at Cambridge.

But the weather is just awful.

‘more like winter than spring, it’s been unremittingly grey, cold, wet, and windy.  Apparently things are better up north (I got a call from Skye, where all was sunny and calm) and I hear that the Dutch had a decent weekend.  But in the normally arid East of Anglia, April is shaping up as the wettest month on record.

In the village, this translates to mud.  It cakes onto shoes, tracks onto carpets, and congeals at doorsteps where people try to scrape their shoes.  The annual carnival packed up their booths and rides and quit the green after getting two lackluster patrons in as many days.  Birds and bunnies seem equally bewildered in the fields behind the flat; the yellow fields of rapeflowers are struggling between bloom and dormancy.


At this time of year, in these conditions, I worry again about the North Atlantic Conveyor.   It’s a huge delicate thing, ferrying water around the world driven by thermoclines and differences in salt density.  Atlantic conveyorIt also keeps the warm Gulf Stream aimed at Europe.  If it should ever reverse, due to excess fresh water from icecap melting, warming, or circulation changes as new waters open up, our weather would be more like Alaska.

More, in fact, like April has been.

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