posted on Jan, 22 2004 @ 05:04 PM
They are both growing and shrinking. An odd answer I know but I'll try to explain.
It comes down to a global conveyer system within the oceans. Heres a brief discription of how they work.
"How does the ocean affect the weather?"
"Heat transfers readily from ocean to atmosphere, and much of the sun’s radiation is absorbed by the ocean. In fact, the upper ten feet (3 metres)
of the ocean holds as much heat as the entire atmosphere. Ocean currents move warm surface water away from the tropics and return cold water to them
via the ocean floor in a conveyer system. As the surface currents flow, they release heat into the environment, and thereby affect our
Now to use the Uk as an example (yes I know they don't have any glaciers) It is heated by the Gulf Stream, carrying from mexico area. Now with global
warming melting the existing glaciers, vast amounts of cold freshwater is released into the oceans, taking away that 3 metre warm spot. This means
when the conveyer pulls it down it's just pulling down cold water and chilling it further only to release an artic like enviroment upon the UK.
Thats the basics, however on a more detailed note, it isn't just the fact that cold water is released that causes this, but FRESH water. This causes
the conveyer to shutdown, this is due to a lack of salinity and therefore lower density of the freshwater. In a normal enviroment as water passes down
rivers the surface evaporates off into clouds and passes out to sea (during which it has grown more saline. So when it falls it naturally pushes
downards causing the Deepwater conveyer.
But when the water has a lower density it mearly stays near the surface, stopping the deepwater sinking and in effect killing the conveyer.
So this can have two effects. Firstly those area's that rely on conveyer heating for their climate, such as the UK could face an ice age. While
tropical places, that have a more solar heating, would have no way of releasing their heat and become desert like.
Well I guess it solves your fashion problems. Bikini or eskimo suit?
[Edited on 22-1-2004 by feygan]