which would lead to harsher winters, droughts

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keannu

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This seems to mean future happenings considering "possible", but I can't exclude the past happening due to "what happend centruries ago" to make it mean "which habitually led to..". What do you think?

161)There are still some people who choose to ignore the threat of global warming...The melting polar ice caps could produce a large amount of cold fresh water. This water could then flow south and disrupt the Gulf Stream, which is needed to keep Europe and parts of North America warm. As a result, what happened centuries ago could happen again - a change in global weather patterns, which would lead to harsher winters, droughts and possible crop failures...

 

Gillnetter

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This seems to mean future happenings considering "possible", but I can't exclude the past happening due to "what happend centruries ago" to make it mean "which habitually led to..". What do you think?

161)There are still some people who choose to ignore the threat of global warming...The melting polar ice caps could produce a large amount of cold fresh water. This water could then flow south and disrupt the Gulf Stream, which is needed to keep Europe and parts of North America warm. As a result, what happened centuries ago could happen again - a change in global weather patterns, which would lead to harsher winters, droughts and possible crop failures...

What did happen centuries ago and what may happen in the future hardly constitutes a habitual action.
 
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