Alarm over Dramatic Weakening of Gulf Stream
Alarm over Dramatic Weakening of Gulf Stream
Gulf Stream and the extension it has on Europe is said to be a powerful Atlantic current that has its origin in Gulf of Mexico all the way to Africa across the Atlantic Ocean. It is the one that influences the climate in the North American coast as well as the coast in Europe. It is also used as a source of renewable energy for the generation of power. Gulf Stream is a strong current that usually meets with other ocean currents and rain is formed. It also transports water in the form of waves and also helps the rivers that drain in the Atlantic Ocean.
It forms rain as the current is able to cool the water that is draining in the Atlantic Ocean thus evaporation takes place and falls in form of rain. Since the current is the one that is controlling the climate in the region that it passes scientists have warned that there is evidence of its weakening. This means that there are areas that the current will cool thus preventing human activities from taking place. According to George et al 1995, this will lead to reduction of global warming in the future until 2015.
This is evident as the warm water that comes from tropical Atlantic is cold when it gets to the north of Atlantic. This is not to say that the climate will change badly as it might be thought. According to the same source the Gulf Stream is said to have weakened in the past decades and this has been caused by global warming. The strength that the current has, when measured it has been found to slow by 30%. This has made the circulation to slow down and if it remains so the temperatures in some countries are likely to drop like in Britain.
It is also not clear whether the weakening is long term or short term. The reason why temperatures are likely to change is because the current transports heat from regions that are equatorial to the circle of the Arctic. This makes the water in the surface to warm as the current releases the heat as it goes to the north where it is cold. Global warming affects the current by slowing it down. This is because global warming has caused melting of the water in the mountainous regions to melt and makes the water less saline thus cooling cannot take place.
In Paris “Little Ice Age” that started in Europe is as a result of the weakening of the Gulf Stream. This is because there is warm water that enters River Thames and cannot allow it to cool to how it was in the past. This has also changed the weather in the region. The weakening has been explained in the British journal Nature. The Gulf Stream has been blamed because the warm water that it takes from the tropical regions to the coastline in Europe has cause severe weather changes in the regions that it passes through. There is also evidence in the sediment cores from where the Gulf Stream enters.
There are planktons that are evident in these cores and this depends on the isotope that is present in oxygen. The isotope is dependant on the salinity of the water. This is what shows the density of the water in the sea. According to scientists there is evidence that there are changes that are taking place in the Gulf Stream. They say that if the Gulf Stream did not have any influence Britain and Siberia could have the same latitude. In the past Greenland Sea had dense water sinking but since today it meets the Gulf steam currents it warms up and the result is that the water becomes warm.
This has caused the water to become warm and affect the animals that are present in the water. Chimneys are the dense water that used to sink and this has reduced and thus weakening the Gulf Stream current. The ice in the sea is said to be getting thinner and thinner. Other scientists from Cambridge University have confirmed the weakening of the Gulf Stream and that Europe is likely to be cold than in the past. This is because of the fact that the strength at which the current is flowing is slower than in the past. They have also said that the chimneys that were present in the Greenland Sea are no longer there.
It is because of these chimneys that the world is experiencing the climatic changes that are taking place. They have also predicted that the waters are going to remain as they are and that temperature in Britain is going to drop in the next decade. (Taylor, et al, 1992 p. 920) The weakening of these temperatures is going to cause no melting of the snow that falls in countries like Finland and France. This will cause glaciations to begin because there will be an increase in the reflectivity of the planet. The Gulf currents is also said to affect the other currents that it meets as it travels.
There are also some climatic changes that are likely to occur in the future but they are not known. It is also projected that the currents will continue to slow down in the future. Work Cited George, D. G. and A. H. Taylor, UK lake plankton and the Gulf Stream. Nature, 1995, 378, 139 Taylor, A. H. , Colebrook, J. M. , Stephens, J. A. and N. G. Baker, Latitudinal displacements of the Gulf Stream and the abundance of plankton in the north-east Atlantic. J. of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 1992, 72, 919-921.
University/College: University of California
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 27 September 2016
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