Jet Stream Gardening

Sat, Jul 7, 2012

Climate Change, UK Climate Change

June weather was the wettest since 1910 for UK gardeners and the weathermen now say July is going to continue with the wet and wild them due to the jet stream still being positioned too far south.


Recent research published in Nature offers a possible explanation as to why this seems to be the case, suggesting that the unusual behaviour of the jet stream could be linked to warming that has been observed in the Arctic.

The research shows that because the jet stream is a function of the temperature contrast above the Atlantic, if that contrast is reduced because higher latitudes are warmer than normal, then the jet stream would weaken.

This would effectively slow its eastwards propagation. And one of the consequences would be that a particular type of weather may persist for longer.

Arctic warming may also be causing the jet stream to become more amplified at times, the research claims, causing warmer air to travel further north than normal, and colder air to travel further south than normal – leading to more extreme warmth and cold.

A more amplified jet stream doesn’t just mean long periods of poor weather for the UK. At the moment we are stuck in a trough in the jet stream, but we could just as easily be under the influence of a warm ridge, meaning longer periods of dry weather (and in summer, warm weather too).

Recent research has also pointed the finger at weak solar activity as a possible explanation for the cold, dry winters that Europe and the UK has experienced in the last few years.

These were caused by the jet stream being unusually far south, and the research conducted by Reading University concluding that such winters could become more common in the next decade or so as a result of expected weaker solar activity.

Whichever theory is correct – and it’s plausible that both are exerting an influence at the same time – experiencing long periods of the same type of weather may be something we should get used to.

2012 will certainly be remembered as a miserable  summer for gardeners who live in anticipation of the growing season when flowers come into blossom and we can spend long lazy days pottering in our gardens.Not this year sadly  – more damage limittation with so much rain, too many slugs and snails and thel lack of consistent sunshine.

If your garden is suffering from storm damage here are tips to help you get it back into shape, ready for those late days of sunshine we are promised

Tropical and exotic planting can bring the garden to life after herbaceous borders are long past their best. Just took these photos in Regents Park where there are some fabulous tropical beds that are looking great with all the rain and muggy temperatures in London at the moment.





This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

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