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Cold Fresh Meltwater from Arctic Will Disrupt Gulf Stream

Cold Fresh Meltwater from Arctic Will Disrupt Gulf Stream

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 03 January 2020



Atlantic Ocean Circulation
Atlantic Ocean Circulation, Sven Baars, University of Groningen.
This image shows the Atlantic Ocean Circulation, which transports relatively warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to north-western Europe, by Sven Baars, University of Groningen.


Cold Fresh Meltwater from Arctic Will Disrupt Gulf Stream

North Atlantic Current May Cease Temporarily in the Next Century,
University of Groningen, December 30, 2019.


Gulf Stream & Its Effects
"The North Atlantic Current transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico towards Europe, providing much of north-western Europe with a relatively mild climate."

Big Problems Coming
"...scientists suspect that meltwater from Greenland and excessive rainfall could interfere with this ocean current."

"...there is a 15 percent likelihood that there will be a temporary change in the current in the next 100 years."

Cold Freshwater
"...Atlantic Ocean currents are sensitive to the amount of fresh water at the surface. Since the run-off of meltwater from Greenland has increased due to climate change, as has rainfall over the ocean, it has been suggested that this may slow down or even reverse the North Atlantic Current, blocking the transport of heat to Europe."

Non-Linear Behavior
"The current shows non-linear behaviour, which means that small changes can have large effects."

Gulf Stream in a Box
"Simulations of the effects of freshwater on the currents have already been performed for some decades."

"Our colleagues in Utrecht created a box model that describes present-day large-scale processes in the ocean rather well."

Preliminary Warning
'In our simulations, the chances of this happening in the next 100 years are 15 percent.' Such temporary transitions may cause cold spells in the North Atlantic, although this needs to be verified in further studies. Therefore, the current study is just a first step in determining the risk. The model does not take into account considerable changes in freshwater in the North Atlantic, which can be caused by the melting of the ice sheets. Wubs: 'Confirming our results through simulation with a high-resolution climate model will be the next challenge.'


Bottom Line

I first considered the consequences of the flood of freshwater from the melting Arctic ice and Greenland a long time ago. Our rapid warming made it clear that a huge mass of cold fresh water from the melting Arctic ice would move South into the North Atlantic, causing major disruptions to the Gulf Stream and its attendent weather patterns.

The outflow of cold fresh Arctic water would be the prelude leading to, eventually, a, "normalization," of a new seasonal range of much warmer Arctic water & air temperatures. Yet before this new pattern can establish itself, it was clear it would have to deal with the melting, movement, and absorption of the vast mass of cold fresh water from the melted Arctic Ice cap and the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet.

These outflows will be causing a few Hundred Years of Severe Weather Disruption for England and North Europe, as an interesting regional, "prelude," to, and within our transition to a, "Heat Everywhere," all the time, new range of seasonal temperatures.


Recent Gulf Stream Research

April 2019
Speed of Ocean Circulation Crucial to Climate


April 2018
Gulf Stream Freaking Out: The Past Points to a Grim Future Supercharged by Global Warming


April 2018
NORTH ATLANTIC CHAOS: Gulf Stream Freaking Out




Sept 2019
Where Has All the Heat Gone? Into Changing the Circulation of the Deep Blue Sea...



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