Four bizarre outcomes of the climate crisis

25th July, 2019

I write this on the second hottest day in the UK on record, with the temperature hitting a sweltering 38°C in Cambridge.

Scientists have warned this will be considered an average summer day by the 2040s if no action is taken to make changes.

The UK is one of the lucky places when it comes to global warming. We aren't feeling the full throttle impact with as much vigour as other places who are feeling the effects on a daily basis.

Whilst most of you reading this are probably aware that the climate crisis is causing melting ice caps, increasingly erratic weather and the threat of extinction for a wealth of species, here's a few of the more bizarre side effects...

1. TVs and mobile phone will experience more disruption

Anything orbiting Earth - including satellites - are doing so with greater speed. In a nutshell, increased carbon dioxide in the upper atmosphere is - curiously - causing the air to cool.

This less dense air reduces drag on anything orbitting us. Faster satelittes and other flying bits and bobs = a greater potential for crashes and disruption to signals.

The digital age has been accelerating since the days of good old Teletext, but that may be about to change...

2. Mountains are getting taller

As if Everest wasn't tough enough... Some mountain ranges have experienced a geological growth spurt over the past 100 years.

And the science behind this one is astounding. The vast glaciers on top have been weighing down the mountains for thousands of years, but as these melt, the weight is lifting allowing the mountains to spring even higher.

Climbing mountains will become more of a challenge as they grow in height

3. The North Pole is migrating towards us

Because of melting ice, there's a lot of newly released water moving around our planet. This has upset the mass balance of Earth as it rotates on its axis.

Whilst it doesn't sound particularly significant, the North Pole has been inching towards Europe at a rate of 10cm per year since the Millennium. I mean it'll be some time before the North Pole has shimmied its way down to where Brighton now stands, but in theory, it could happen...

Icebergs are on their way as the North Pole moves towards Europe

4. Wine ain't going to taste so good

And the most prized grapes are supposedly being the hardest hit.

Grapes are struggling with the sporadic weather - Bordeaux was hit by sever hailstorms in 2017 and California is getting drier and drier each year, seriously impacting grape production.

The warmer weather is forcing grapes to mature earlier, resulting in higher levels of sugar (and therefore alcohol) but lower levels of acidity which is what makes wine lively and bright.

Another strange outcome is that countries such as Poland and the UK are experiencing more success with wine production.

Hang on to those vintages! Grapes are maturing much earlier, resulting in a less tasty tipple

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