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IT'S CAULD REEKIE; Scots face mini-ice age due to cooler seas.

Byline: CARA PAGE

SCOTLAND could be plunged into a mini-ice age with temperatures as cold as Russia.

Scientists have found that ocean currents bringing warm water to Scotland have slowed in the past 50 years.

Those currents sustain Scotland's mild climate despite it sharing the same latitude as Alaska and Siberia.

Experts monitoring the seas around the Faroe Islands found that less cold water is flowing south from the Arctic.

As a result, less warm water from the Gulf Stream is being sucked north on the ocean "conveyor belt."

They found that since 1950 the deep sea current of cold Arctic water flowing in the opposite direction to the Gulf Stream has reduced by 20 per cent.

Scientists from the Fisheries Research Services Marine Laboratory in Aberdeen joined experts from Norway and the Faroe Islands in the study.

Aberdeen scientist Dr Bill Turrell said: "It is not just moving water. It is moving heat. It is like the engine of the earths' climate. If the heat disappears we would get a climate more like Alaska and Siberia."

Scientists blame global warming for slowing down the conveyor belt.

Dr Turrell added: "In effect global warming is turning off the pump that keeps Britain warm."

History has proved the Gulf Stream can shift. It led to a mini-ice age in Europe in the Middle Ages and again in the 17th Century when the Thames froze at London Bridge.

Richard Dixon head of research at Friends if the Earth Scotland said: "Even if we can't be sure this will happen we should take action to avoid any further warming as quickly as possible."
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jun 22, 2001
Words:270
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