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Could we be heading for a repeat of the Younger Dryas cold snap, which was last seen 12,000 years ago? And are quantum computers finally becoming a reality?

By Philip Ball   January 2006

A colder kind of warming

If climate change were easy to understand, the debate would have been over years ago. But because climate effects don’t often follow in direct proportion to their causes, it is inevitable that model predictions are hedged by uncertainties, and that the consequences of the greenhouse effect often seem contradictory and counterintuitive. What now are we to make of the suggestion that, as mean temperatures continue to climb, northern Europe has colder winters in store?

It seems clear such a thing can happen. As the last ice age thawed 12,000 years ago, the north Atlantic was…

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