November 6, 2003

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Britain could be heading for a new Ice Age.

A Horizon documentary to be shown on BBC2 says global warming could 'switch off' the Gulf Stream.

The Gulf Stream continually warms Britain's coast and scientists say that without it, our climate would be like Alaska's.

Winters like the big freeze in 1962-63 would hit us all the time, we would have to live in minus 22C for months and ice storms would batter the land.

Greenland is said to be melting at a rate of 100 cubic km every year because of the greenhouse effect.

Experts believe the melt water from the ice could effectively switch off the Gulf Stream.

"It would be quick," says Dr Terry Joyce. "Suddenly one decade we are warm, the next decade we're in for the coldest winter we've experienced in 100 years. And we'd be stuck in it for 100 years."

Dr Richard Wood of the Met Office tells Horizon: "You would expect to see sea ice off the south coast for several miles."

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