Edward Hanna, co-author of the study at Sheffield University, said the research should alert people in the UK to the reality of global warming: "It really puts global warming in the public eye. It's virtually impossible to predict the weather for any particular summer but we could have cooler, wetter summers on average in the UK because of this effect. That's not to say we won't get hot, dry summers but just that these might not be as frequent as you might expect from a straightforward global warming effect. There seems to have been a new regime in summer 2007 that has more or less stayed in place since."
Many people in the UK assume that global warming would bring them hotter and drier weather – a "Mediterranean climate", according to common predictions. This study shows that the reality may be much less pleasant.
Huge swathes of England could take on a Mediterranean look within 50 years as native woodlands are threatened by warmer, drier summers, say scientists.