The chief scientist at the Met Office has called an urgent meeting to discuss the effects of climate change, saying the melting of the arctic may be causing the UK's recent spate of perishing weather.

After a winter in which temperatures dropped as low as −15.6C, Dr Julia Slingo told ITV News global warming may be responsible for the extreme weather, saying she would be convening with top scientists to try and understand how the arctic melt was affecting the UK.

She told the broadcaster: "If this is how climate change could manifest itself, then we need to understand that as a matter of urgency

"We are beginning to think that our climate is being disrupted by the warming of the artic that we've observed very dramatically since 2007.

"It definitely seems like the warming of the arctic is "loading the dice" over cold dry winters."

snow

Britain had the coldest March for 50 years

The UK's position makes it particularly prone to arctic warming, Dr Jennifer Francis, a research professor at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences, told ITV News.

As Britain experienced freezing cold weather and snow, with thousands of homes across the UK without power, the government's outgoing chief advisor warned last month that climate change will bring greater extremes.

After the coldest March for 50 years, Professor Sir John Beddington said Britain was already experiencing climate change.

snow

The cold winter has been the topic of conversation for months

He told BBC Breakfast :"I think you only have to look at the last few years to see how that is actually starting to manifest itself even in the UK."

"In a sense we have moved from the idea of global warming to the idea of climate change, and that is rather important - yes, indeed, temperatures are increasing but the thing that is going to happen is that we are going to see much more variability in our weather,"

Sir John said there were "massive problems" in the world of food, water and energy security as the global population increases, all of which would be exacerbated by climate change.

Even if effective action was taken now on global warming, he said there would be "significant" climate change over the next 20 to 25 years as results of past global emissions.

Last March was the coldest in the UK since 1962, weather experts confirmed.

Statistics from the Met Office showed that from 1 to 26 March the UK mean temperature was 2.5C (36.5F), which is three degrees below the long-term average.

This made it the joint fourth coldest in the UK, in records going back to 1910.

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  • Spring weather March 24

    Cara Faith, 21, on the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Cara Faith, 21, on the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    People clear roads of the snow by hand in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    A farmer blows and ploughs the snow to clear roads as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    A farmer blows and ploughs the snow to clear roads as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    People walking in the snow in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    A car abandoned in the snow in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Sheep shelter from the drifting snow in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    People walking in the snow in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Runners brave the snow in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Allan Molloy, with his dog Coco, on the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    People clear roads of the snow by hand in Sutton, Cheshire, as the cold weather continues.

  • Spring weather March 24

    A digger tries to clear the the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    The scene above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Local men take to the fields, off the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Local men take to the fields, off the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Spring weather March 24

    Local men Oliver Mulvenna (left) and Paul Gillen off the main road to Feystown, above Glenarm in Co Antrim, the hill town hamlet which has been cut off for thee days due to snow drifts and no electricity.

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    HARROGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: Heavy snow falls over parts of Yorkshire as winter weather continues on March 22, 2013 in Harrogate, United Kingdom. Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport and schools across the UK in the coldest March the country has seen for decades, with no sign of the warm spring weather that Britain enjoyed this time last year. Homes have been left without power in Northern Ireland, airports shut and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    HARROGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: A car that had crashed into a hedge during heavy snow is marked with police tape as snow continues to fall on March 22, 2013 in Harrogate, United Kingdom. Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport and schools across the UK in the coldest March the country has seen for decades, with no sign of the warm spring weather that Britain enjoyed this time last year. Homes have been left without power in Northern Ireland, airports shut and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: Aircaft prepare to leave Leeds Bradford airport during a heavy snow storm on March 22, 2013 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport and schools across the UK in the coldest March the country has seen for decades, with no sign of the warm spring weather that Britain enjoyed this time last year. Homes have been left without power in Northern Ireland, airports shut and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    LEEDS, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: Aircaft prepare to leave Leeds Bradford airport during a heavy snow storm on March 22, 2013 in Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport and schools across the UK in the coldest March the country has seen for decades, with no sign of the warm spring weather that Britain enjoyed this time last year. Homes have been left without power in Northern Ireland, airports shut and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    HARROGATE, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 22: A man wearing shorts walks his dog as heavy snow falls over parts of Yorkshire as winter weather continues on March 22, 2013 in Harrogate, United Kingdom. Heavy snow is causing disruption to transport and schools across the UK in the coldest March the country has seen for decades, with no sign of the warm spring weather that Britain enjoyed this time last year. Homes have been left without power in Northern Ireland, airports shut and flooding in parts of Devon and Cornwall. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A fallen tree lies across a road after heavy snowfall in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A man shovels deep snow from the pavement in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-NIRELAND-WEATHER

    Pedestrians walk through the snow at the Stormont estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 23, 2013. Britain continued to be blitzed by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain on March 23 with tens of thousands of homes without power at a time when the Kingdom should be celebrating the coming of Spring. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-NIRELAND-WEATHER

    A man drives pass another car buried in a snow drift in the Craigant Hills near Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 23, 2013. Britain continued to be blitzed by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain on March 23 with tens of thousands of homes without power at a time when the Kingdom should be celebrating the coming of Spring. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A woman shovels deep snow from the pavement in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 23: A man walks in snow covered Alexandra Park on March 23, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. The UK is facing another day of severe weather disruption, with flood and snow warnings issued in a number of regions across the country. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • Snow And Rain Hit Britain In Coldest March For 50 Years

    LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 23: A soldier stands on guard during a snow shower on the first day the soldiers are wearing their summer red tunics outside Buckingham Palace on March 23, 2013 in London, United Kingdom. The UK is facing another day of severe weather disruption, with flood and snow warnings issued in a number of regions across the country. (Photo by Bethany Clarke/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Cars sit burried in deep snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, 2013, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People clear walking paths from snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, 2013, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A man shovels snow outside his house in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, 2013, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Sheep stand in a snow-covered field near Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, 2013, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    two women walk a dog in the snow in Bakewell in Derbyshire, central England, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Walkers brave heavy snow covering the ground in Derbyshire, central England, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People walk over the Millennium footbridge as snow falls in London on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / BEN STANSALL (Photo credit should read BEN STANSALL/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Cars are buried in deep snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A woman negotiates the heavy snow with an umbrella near Bakewell in Derbyshire on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snowfall hit parts of central and northern England, Scotland and Ireland, bringing sub-zero temperatures and travel disruption across the country. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Supermarket trolleys are filled with snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A sign reads 'Sorry no snow shovels' outside a DIY and hardware retailer after heavy snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People walk in deep snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, 2013, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-NIRELAND-WEATHER

    A jogger runs through the snow at Stormont estate in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 23, 2013. Britain continued to be blitzed by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain on March 23 with tens of thousands of homes without power at a time when the Kingdom should be celebrating the coming of Spring. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-NIRELAND-WEATHER

    Farm fields are covered in snow in the Craigant Hills near Belfast, Northern Ireland, on March 23, 2013. Britain continued to be blitzed by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain on March 23 with tens of thousands of homes without power at a time when the Kingdom should be celebrating the coming of Spring. AFP PHOTO / PETER MUHLY (Photo credit should read PETER MUHLY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A man walks in deep snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A man walks in deep snow in Mold, Flintshire, north Wales on March 23, 2013. Many parts of Britain continued to be blitzed on March 23 by unseasonal heavy snowfall and rain. AFP PHOTO / ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    Residents shovel snow from pavements near Bakewell in Derbyshire on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snowfall hit parts of central and northern England, Scotland and Ireland, bringing sub-zero temperatures and travel disruption across the country. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    A picture shows a snow scene of the river Wye in the Wye Valley in Derbyshire on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snowfall hit parts of central and northern England, Scotland and Ireland, bringing sub-zero temperatures and travel disruption across the country. AFP PHOTO / LINDSEY PARNABY (Photo credit should read LINDSEY PARNABY/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People walk their dog in the snow in Ruthing, North Wales, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People walk in snow in Ruthing, North Wales, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People walk as snow covers the area in Ruthing, North Wales, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)

  • BRITAIN-WEATHER

    People and children play in the snow in Ruthing, North Wales, on March 23, 2013. Heavy unseasonal snow caused fresh disruption in Britain on March 23, leaving tens of thousands of homes without power, shutting airports and causing an international football match to be called off. AFP PHOTO/ANDREW YATES (Photo credit should read ANDREW YATES/AFP/Getty Images)