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Failing ocean current raises fears of mini ice age

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posted on Nov, 30 2005 @ 09:27 PM
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www.newscientist.com...

The ocean current that gives western Europe its relatively balmy climate is stuttering, raising fears that it might fail entirely and plunge the continent into a mini ice age.

The dramatic finding comes from a study of ocean circulation in the North Atlantic, which found a 30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream.

The slow-down, which has long been predicted as a possible consequence of global warming, will give renewed urgency to intergovernmental talks in Montreal, Canada, this week on a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.
NS Forum
What do you think about these dramatic findings?
Discuss this story >>

Harry Bryden at the Southampton Oceanography Centre in the UK, whose group carried out the analysis, says he is not yet sure if the change is temporary or signals a long-term trend. "We don’t want to say the circulation will shut down," he told New Scientist. "But we are nervous about our findings. They have come as quite a surprise."
No one-off

The North Atlantic is dominated by the Gulf Stream – currents that bring warm water north from the tropics. At around 40° north – the latitude of Portugal and New York – the current divides. Some water heads southwards in a surface current known as the subtropical gyre, while the rest continues north, leading to warming winds that raise European temperatures by 5°C to 10°C.

But when Bryden’s team measured north-south heat flow last year, using a set of instruments strung across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas, they found that the division of the waters appeared to have changed since previous surveys in 1957, 1981 and 1992. From the amount of water in the subtropical gyre and the flow southwards at depth, they calculate that the quantity of warm water flowing north had fallen by around 30%.

When Bryden added previously unanalysed data – collected in the same region by the US government’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – he found a similar pattern. This suggests that his 2004 measurements are not a one-off, and that most of the slow-down happened between 1992 and 1998.

The changes are too big to be explained by chance, co-author Stuart Cunningham told New Scientist from a research ship off the Canary Islands, where he is collecting more data. "We think the findings are robust."

to read the rest of the article visite the link



I am not much of a believer in global warming and how we made a major effect on the warming at all... From what I found is the sun is a major player in our climent because with out it we would be sitting in -230 F weather right now. From what I know is the sky is actually clearer then it was 10 20 30 40 years ago, and the recent major heat waves we been having and abnormal amount of hurricanes, were caused from the massive solar flares pounding the earth which do effect more then you think.

I mean how do you explane a massive hurricane like DOG in 1950 it was CAT 5 with 185 mph winds. also if i remember correctly 1950 was a very active season, with 13 tropical storms, 11 hurricanes, and 8 major hurricanes, the sun was very active then? Where the hell was global warming then? So how come we have to jump to conclusions so fast these days and say it like its never happen before... I think this is all natural imo and blaming it on us is just human nature anyways oh well thats my 2 cents....




posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 06:26 AM
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Ohhhh.... fiddlesticks. (Sigh) Yes, global warming is happening. Here's a link to a story on the BBC that covers the same thing: news.bbc.co.uk...

Now there are some links there about melting polar ice, as well as the arrival of vast amounts of cold water due to the melting of the permafrost in the arctic. The difference between the current climatics conditions and the hurricane season of 1950 that you mention is that a) that storm was a one-off. This year we have had two major cat 5 storms almost in a row, and at one point Katrina could have made cat 6, if such a category existed. And b) the amount of polar ice is decreasing - the US Navy has proved it with its measurements of the arctic ice cap, which its subs go under - and in 1950 the cap was a hell of a lot thicker.
Finally, c) in 1950 the glaciers in the Himalayas weren't melting at the rate that they are now.
Global warming is a fact. If even the idiots at Fox News recognise this, so should everyone else.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 01:48 PM
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Another source for the story is found below. The evidence seems to be mounting here. The bigger concern other than the actualy temperature changes is how this is going to impact agriculture across the region? Will more sever weather effect the growth cycles or cooler summers? That will be a huge problem with a planet which may already be over populated.




The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region, scientists warn today.

Researchers on a scientific expedition in the Atlantic Ocean measured the strength of the current between Africa and the east coast of America and found that the circulation has slowed by 30% since a previous expedition 12 years ago.
Better By Some Mittens



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 01:52 PM
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Does not seem so far fetched now. Guess i'll not be buying property near the sea and i'll be investing in a serious central heating system. Problem is greed man does not think ahead more than years at a time. Its going to be a mess for our great grand kids thats for sure.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 09:30 PM
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Originally posted by Darkmind
Ohhhh.... fiddlesticks. (Sigh) Yes, global warming is happening. Here's a link to a story on the BBC that covers the same thing: news.bbc.co.uk...

Now there are some links there about melting polar ice, as well as the arrival of vast amounts of cold water due to the melting of the permafrost in the arctic. The difference between the current climatics conditions and the hurricane season of 1950 that you mention is that a) that storm was a one-off. This year we have had two major cat 5 storms almost in a row, and at one point Katrina could have made cat 6, if such a category existed. And b) the amount of polar ice is decreasing - the US Navy has proved it with its measurements of the arctic ice cap, which its subs go under - and in 1950 the cap was a hell of a lot thicker.
Finally, c) in 1950 the glaciers in the Himalayas weren't melting at the rate that they are now.
Global warming is a fact. If even the idiots at Fox News recognise this, so should everyone else.


Hey what I was really saying is the brand name (I am probally behind times on the current explanation for global warming... so enlighten me if im wrong anytime in this post) they gave global warming I dont beleive in, I think there seperating fact from some fiction. I know the planet is heating up but I believe its for other reasons we cant deal with, plus the pole shift is coming soon this was bound to get to this point one day theres nothing we can do...
Plus hears something else to keep in mind. Theres something called the island effect, its a effect were urban areas like citys will be 5-7 degree's hotter then the outskirts.

Another thing to take into concideration is the ice caps have been melting for 18,000 years.
Global temperatures have risen 5° C
Glaciers have melted and retreated dramatically
Ecosystems around the world are being altered

From an historical perspective, global warming has saved us, at least temporarily, from an Icehouse Climate, although humans can hardly take the credit.

Science is clear on what controls cycles of climate change. Global warming (and cooling) cycles are controlled primarily by:

1) Cyclical variations in the sun's energy output (which lately has been very agressive)
2) Eccentricities in Earth's orbit
3) The influence of plate tectonics on the distribution of continents and oceans
4) The so-called "greenhouse effect," caused by atmospheric gases such as gaseous water vapor (not droplets), carbon dioxde, methane, and nitrous oxides, which help to trap radiant heat which might otherwise escape into space.

The "greenhouse effect" actually is a bit player in global climate (although without it's benefits the average temperature of the Earth would be minus 18° C). Human's did not cause the greenhouse effect, but critics maintain human additions to atmospheric greenhouse gases may cause global temperatures to rise too much.

Generally understood, but rarely publicized is the fact that 95% of the greenhouse effect is due solely to natural water vapor. Of the remaining 5%, only 0.2% to 0.3% of the greenhouse effect (depending on whose numbers you use) is due to emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases from human sources. If we are in fact in a global warming crisis, even the most aggressive and costly proposals for limiting industrial carbon dioxide emissions would have an undetectable effect on global climate. However, significant efforts to limit the emission of greenhouse gases in the United States are currently underway.



posted on Dec, 1 2005 @ 09:57 PM
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someone explain how global warming would weaken this?

from what i read water surface warming would make it stronger NOT weaker.



posted on Dec, 2 2005 @ 03:22 AM
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Originally posted by namehere
someone explain how global warming would weaken this?

from what i read water surface warming would make it stronger NOT weaker.

It's complex. The Atlantic conveyor is a like a massive moebius loop, with warm water coming up from the Gulf of Mexico, shedding its warmth as it reaches the colder north, then cooling to the point where it descends to the interior of the ocean and looping back south to the point where it upwells again, gets heated and flows back north. Now at the moment global warming is leading to massive amounts of cold water that was formerly ice flooding out of Greenland and Siberia. And it's fresh water, not seawater. What is happening is that the Atlantic Conveyor is being diluted, so that it is less salty - and the reason why it descends at the end of its northwards run is that it is dense salty water. If it becomes less salty, it loses its density, doesn't descend and cuts off the supply to the southern upwell. No current, no Gulf Stream, no warmth.



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