I have a private theory.
Ice-ages are perhaps not caused by relatively fast, slowing or stopping ocean currents, but by sudden events, which then massively influence those
And those events are (in my opinion) probably caused by massive comet/meteorite strikes on Earth.
Comets are big chunks of ice plus some rock fragments; while meteorites are rocks, with perhaps a thin icy surface, before they enter any planets
atmosphere. That thin layer on meteorites evaporates, sometimes explosively, immediately when entering atmospheres.
If you look at the Yucatan Peninsula, and the whole Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea, I see the effect of 3, possible 4 or more, huge meteorite or
comet strikes in that region.
Btw, it's one gigantic mixing mechanism of fresh, salt and warm and cold water!
The relatively small and now faint impact crater remnants on the Yucatan Peninsula itself, overgrown now with jungle, which was discovered a decade
ago, was just a tiny piece of the train of fragments hitting the Gulf region hundred-thousands or millions of years ago.
Its diversion is caused by the same effect as the broken string of Shoemaker comet-parts impacting Jupiter.
That shattered comet, Shoemaker-Levy 9, collided with Jupiter over a 5.6 day period in July 1994. The first of 21 comet fragments hit Jupiter on July
Because of the rotation of our planet, those separated or broken off comet/meteorite parts which probably impacted Earth long ago, were spread out
over that former land mass from east to west.
Although the Sun and stars appear to move from east to west, the earth rotates from west to east.
So the last one impacted above the region which is nowadays Yucatan, in the western Gulf, and the earlier ones went down further away, from east to
west, since they entered Earth atmosphere minutes to hours earlier.
The first fragment went down in the eastern Caribbean Sea, the next ones hit the western part of the Caribbean Sea.
The whole Gulf and Caribbean region was then a land mass, and Florida and all the downwards arced islands we see now stretched to the Guyana's, were
the, then shore, regions of the Atlantic Ocean.
Because of the impacts, the rim of the impacted region was pushed up and prone to volcano forming, and that's why most of the arc of Antilles Islands
are now volcanic in nature.
These impacts were also the cause of the oil reservoirs under the Gulf, since a-biotic oil was formed in huge quantities by the sudden enormous
pressure change on the upper magma crust under that region.
It is also the cause of the so immense fractured bottom of the Gulf, which makes it so difficult and dangerous to tap deep wells, since leaks through
surrounding fractures can easily occur when you start drilling so deep, a few kilometers deep at the bottom.
That impact and the subsequent filling of the new formed basin with Atlantic salt water did change the then present Atlantic currents enormously, and
caused huge changes in weather patterns.
Since we were not there, we don't know when the onset to an Ice age occurred, but Comet/meteorite impacts must have had an enormous effect on global
Just as the probable impact in the Hudson Bay area must have caused a tremendous change in Arctic weather patterns.
The biggest influences on the weather are the Sun, the Moon, and their subsequent effects through the Coriolis forces on the masses of salt water, and
especially the air above them.
And the Mid-Atlantic Rift in case of the Atlantic Ocean, the Florida Straights and the Grand Bank, and many more smaller underwater obstacles.
I lived and had an office once in Togo, a thin stretched out little country at the southern part of West Africa. If you wanted to go for a swim at
certain parts of the "beaches" in front of the capital Lomé, situated at the Gulf of Guinea, you were warned by huge signs to better not go in the
water, because of the huge undercurrents, formed by the surface currents hitting the steep sandy beach cliffs and diving down again to return much
deeper to the main current which went off-shore at considerable depths. The sandy beach itself was only a few meters wide, and about 1 to 2 meter in
the water, its sandy bottom suddenly went down nearly 90°.
This is caused by the enormous Maelström formed constantly in the Gulf of Guinea by the rotation of the Earth's globe, which causes a huge migration
of water masses consisting of differing temperatures and salinity. Friction and Coriolis forces push all that water from the Southern hemisphere to
the Northern hemisphere in a kind of Moebius band stretching on the surface and inside the Southern and Northern Atlantic.
The Möbius strip or Möbius band is alternatively written Mobius or Moebius in English.
Here you can perfectly see that huge Gulf of Guinea maelström, and others :
Thus, friction caused by Coriolis forces acting on different layers of warmer or colder salt water are the minor forces compared to the Sun and Moon,
acting on water and air above.
Go play around with these extensive models of the real-time Atlantic Ocean forecast system :
Descriptions of its main menu options :
The following selections are available from the main menu at the top of the page.
1. Compare with Obs : Daily satellite and model SST comparisons.
2. Data Assim : Analysis of the assimilation of observational data into the model.
3. RTOFS & WOCE : Comparison of vertical cross sections of the model basin with World Ocean Circulation Experiment section data.
4. Graphics Viewer : Daily suite of graphical analyses of the model outputs. All of the model parameters (temperature, salinity, sea surface height,
mixed layer depth, and velocities) are sampled at a variety of depths.
5. Data Access : How to get and use the model data. Information is available on the data formats used as well as methods of accessing the data
6. About the Model: Background information on the RTOFS model.
The Graphics Viewer and the RTOFS & WOCE sections are visually the most interesting ones.
Do view the depth from surface to 4000 meter deep especially, and at 3000 meter you find the influence of the Mid-Atlantic Rift underseas mountains
already. There is a North and South Atlantic Rift by the way.
Do also view the Gulf of Mexico region surface feature, and you can see how the Gulfstream forms by incoming waters from the Caribbean side, flowing
around the Greater Antilles, and leaving through the Florida Straight :