The record cold temperatures in Europe this year were not a fluke.
Analysts believe that Europe will see freezing winters for the next 20 to 40 years.
The Global Warming Policy Foundation reported:
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Olivier Lejeune, Platts, GWPF
Colder winters could become the norm in Europe over the next 20 to 40 years, US-based forecaster Weather Services International said Tuesday.
“We have recently noticed a change in [weather] patterns back to what we had in the 1950s and 1960s in Europe… We’ve had three cold winters in a row in the UK,” WSI�s chief meteorologist Todd Crawford told Platts.
“We believe there is a strong likelihood that it’s going to hang around for the next 20 to 30 years.”
If true, the findings could have important implications for the European energy markets, where demand typically increases during winter because of higher heating and lighting requirements.
Peak electricity demand hit an all-time record in France at the beginning of December, and was near its historic record in the UK, amid temperatures that were more than 10 degrees Celsius below the seasonal norm.
Natural gas and gasoil demand also soared. Behind the freezing temperatures is the North Atlantic Oscillation, a climatic phenomenon that normally sends wind from western European countries to the east, keeping cold air from the Arctic at bay. But in December the current was flowing in the opposite direction, bringing cold Arctic air to western European regions and sending energy demand to fresh highs.