posted on Jun, 8 2004 @ 01:01 AM
I have been following the North Atlantic Current for about a year now. Granted that is not enough time to make me an expert by any stretch of the
imagination but I feel I am observant enough to spot some possible changes. Please correct me if you find flaws in my logic.
It would seem that if the current was failing that the tropics would become warmer and the polar regions would begin to cool. Has this happened? The
north eastern US has experienced two very severe winters in a row. Fluke? Possibly.
Here is the kicker. The South Atlantic had the first observed hurricane since the invention of satellite tracking. If the current was
weaking/failing it is certainly possible that the tropics would begin to warm and it would seem the tropics in the southern hemisphere would be able
to warm enough to support tropical systems. Coincidence? Maybe.
Now for the past 12 months I have been checking a website on an almost daily basis to see how the ocean velocities were doing. At first you could see
a fairly well defined gulf stream. As the year progressed into the winter the current got weaker and weaker until there was no longer a visible
north/south eliment to the current. By late winter much of the current seemed to have faded from the charts. Perhaps as the ocean temps changed
during the winter the current disappeared below the surface. As spring came around the west to east component of the current became visible again but
the north south component remained hidden. Now for reasons unknown the website that contains the maps has stopped producing updates. This has been
going on for a few weeks or so.
Here is the link to where I was getting the charts from.
As of the past 6 months or so I have been watching the sea surface temps (SST) which gives a good indication of how the current is impacting the ocean
temps. The impact on Europe is obvious however in the recent weeks there has been something show up on the charts that has me puzzled.
As you move away from NY and head toward Europe you will see a sharp hook just under half way across the ocean. This shows a dip in the cold waters.
This southward movement of the cold water wasnt there a couple of weeks ago. Is this normal for this time of the year? Is this southward component a
product of the front side of a bermuda high?
Is it simply a coincidence that this hook shows up roughtly the same time as the maps stop updating that show the ocean velocities. Are these changes
to the current and the changes to the ocean temps normal or is this something to be concerned about?