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March 5, 2004: Global warming could plunge North America and Western Europe into a deep freeze, possibly within only a few decades.
The thawing of sea ice covering the Arctic could disturb or even halt large currents in the Atlantic Ocean. Without the vast heat that these ocean currents deliver--comparable to the power generation of a million nuclear power plants--Europe's average temperature would likely drop 5 to 10°C (9 to 18°F), and parts of eastern North America would be chilled somewhat less.
A global ocean circulation between deep, colder water and warmer, surface water strongly influences regional climates around the world. Image courtesy Argonne National Laboratory.
Because saltwater is denser and heavier than freshwater, this "freshening"
of the North Atlantic would make the surface layers more buoyant. That's a problem because the surface water needs to sink to drive a primary ocean circulation pattern known as the "Great Ocean Conveyor." Sunken water flows south along the ocean floor toward the equator, while warm surface waters from tropical latitudes flow north to replace the water that sank, thus keeping the Conveyor slowly chugging along. An increase in freshwater could prevent this sinking of North Atlantic surface waters, slowing or stopping this circulation.
A Chilling Possibility
There was no scientific consensus in the 1970s that the Earth was headed into an imminent ice age. Indeed, the possibility of anthropogenic warming dominated the peer-reviewed literature even then.
originally posted by: Phage
a reply to: Vector99
Explore further: Mass gains of Antarctic Ice Sheet greater than losses, NASA study reports
The extra snowfall that began 10,000 years ago has been slowly accumulating on the ice sheet and compacting into solid ice over millennia, thickening the ice in East Antarctica and the interior of West Antarctica by an average of 0.7 inches (1.7 centimeters) per year. This small thickening, sustained over thousands of years and spread over the vast expanse of these sectors of Antarctica, corresponds to a very large gain of ice - enough to outweigh the losses from fast-flowing glaciers in other parts of the continent and reduce global sea level rise.
Yes, I know. And this is what the first link says about it:
That's a link, from your link, that goes here and says
"We then conducted different experiments, using similar assumptions made in the NASA study but found that in every experiment, mass loss from the west always exceeded gains in the east."
The researchers concluded that over the study period, 2003-2013, Antarctica, as a whole, has been contributing to sea level rise and that the gains in East Antarctica were around three times smaller than suggested in the 2015 study.
“It’s a debate over the methodology, and their methodology is primitive,” Zwally says. “It’s what we were doing 15 years ago, but we’ve advanced beyond that state. We no longer have to guess at that density.”
Zwally still stands by his 2015 study, but in an interview last week, he said nature has recently changed the equation. His team is crunching numbers from the past two years, looking at ice melting and snowfall rates in Antarctica. And they found something startling.
The melt rates in West Antarctica just increased significantly. His calculations now show that the continent is in overall balance. The findings haven’t been peer reviewed yet, but he plans to present them at a science conference later this year.
originally posted by: carewemust
a reply to: makemap
If you put a cube of ice in a glass of water, and the ice cube melts, does the water level increase/decrease/stay the same?