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Thread: Is the Gulf Stream moving away from Europe ?

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    Unhappy Is the Gulf Stream moving away from Europe ?



    Three and a half years ago, I was writing about the possibility that the Gulf Stream was weakening because of the melting of the icebergs and ice caps in Greenland and Canada. The ice caps are made of fresh water and their melting into the North Atlantic Ocean disturbs the existing sea currents, like the Gulf Stream responsible for Northwest Europe's exceptionally warm climate for its latitude. Without the Gulf Stream, the British Isles, Benelux, France, Germany and Scandinavia would all have a climate like the one of Siberia or Canada. In contrast, even in Scandinavia the winters are surprisingly mild compared to Canada or Russia.

    But things are starting to change. Both this winter and this spring have been among the coldest ever recorded in north-western Europe. We are at the end of May and it still feels like we haven't really left winter, or at least a typical winter, in which it isn't unusual to have day temperatures of +5 to +15°C. That's exactly what we have had non-stop this month, a good 5 to 10°C under the seasonal averages. This winter was by far the harshest I have ever experienced in Europe. We had about two months of nearly continuous snow, as opposed to the usual two or three days.

    All this just isn't normal. Experiencing one or two months of odd weather, beating the all-time records of high or low temperatures, may not be a reason for concern. But five months in a row and with no sign of abating ? That's worrisome.

    This summer Greenland will be virtually ice free, for the first time in recorded history. I don't think it's a coincidence.

    But what if the Gulf Stream is indeed dying, or moving away from Europe ? What are going to be the repercussions for Europeans ? Not only will it be less pleasant to live in northern Europe, but the heating expenses will soar through the roof, seriously affecting the budget of a lot of families. Depressions will be more widespread because of the gloomier weather. Unfortunately, if it is the Gulf Stream moving away, little can be done about it, at least within our lifetime.

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    Even if the Golf Stream is moving away, I read a couple of years ago (in a Norwegian newspaper) that it wasn't as important to the Northern European climate as previously thought; that the Rocky Mountains in the USA was more important. I am sure the Norwegian newspaper didn't invent the stuff themselves, so there is probably an American or English study on it somewhere.

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    We had a very long winter here in Canada too, and spring is not peachy either. We can't blame Golf Stream though.

    It is true that melting accelerated on Greenland in recent decades (30% by some estimates). Ice on Greenland always melts during summer, but it is not even close of being virtually gone by a long stretch. The thickness of ice sheets are between 1 and 3 km. That's a lot of ice to melt on this huge island. Even pessimistic scientists gives it 2,000 years to melt completely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet

    On even more optimistic beat, recent study of ice core tells a story of 5C warmer Greenland about 120k years ago, time before last ice age. What is surprising is that Greenland was still covered with lots of ice, and sea level was only 4 m higher. CO2 level was at pre industrialisation level, so can't be blamed for this warmest interglacial period.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/01/130123133428.htm


    But what if the Gulf Stream is indeed dying, or moving away from Europe ? What are going to be the repercussions for Europeans ? Not only will it be less pleasant to live in northern Europe, but the heating expenses will soar through the roof, seriously affecting the budget of a lot of families. Depressions will be more widespread because of the gloomier weather. Unfortunately, if it is the Gulf Stream moving away, little can be done about it, at least within our lifetime.
    Didn't Europe survive Little Ice Age, and with inferior technology? Baltic Sea was frozen solid every year, prairies (Canada) were so cold and dry that farmers and ranchers didn't settle them till 20th century, when weather turned mild.

    Climate is ever changing, and it looks like we might be for couple of colder decades now.
    Look at this 60 year weather cycle:


    http://www.appinsys.com/globalwarmin...yYearCycle.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    It is true that melting accelerated on Greenland in recent decades (30% by some estimates). Ice on Greenland always melts during summer, but it is not even close of being virtually gone by a long stretch. The thickness of ice sheets are between 1 and 3 km. That's a lot of ice to melt on this huge island. Even pessimistic scientists gives it 2,000 years to melt completely.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greenland_ice_sheet
    My mistake. I meant that all the ice on Greenland's surface will melt in summer, as it almost happened last year.

    However all the Arctic icebergs between Greenland and Canada will melt this summer.

    Arctic summers ice-free 'by 2013'


    Didn't Europe survive Little Ice Age, and with inferior technology? Baltic Sea was frozen solid every year, prairies (Canada) were so cold and dry that farmers and ranchers didn't settle them till 20th century, when weather turned mild.
    I am not afraid for the survival of Europe, but, as I said above, it's going to be much less comfortable without the Gulf Stream. I think that the loss of the Gulf Stream would be worse than the Little Ice Age of the Renaissance.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    :
    Hopefully not breaking away from O.T. entirely [ The Little Ice Age has been mentioned already] Here is a piece I read just to-day, which I thought was interesting. The full report will appear in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences. I have checked but it has not yet been made public.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22656239

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    Quote Originally Posted by hope View Post
    :
    Hopefully not breaking away from O.T. entirely [ The Little Ice Age has been mentioned already] Here is a piece I read just to-day, which I thought was interesting. The full report will appear in Proceedings of the Natural Academy of Sciences. I have checked but it has not yet been made public.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22656239
    University of Alberta. :)
    I guess it means that we are in warm period, generally speaking, as warm as in medieval times, and not astronomically hot as the global warming hockey stick chart of some computer model predicting. Makes me feel better. We should survive. :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post

    I am not afraid for the survival of Europe, but, as I said above, it's going to be much less comfortable without the Gulf Stream. I think that the loss of the Gulf Stream would be worse than the Little Ice Age of the Renaissance.
    It won't be that bad Maciamo. Gulf Stream won't go away, it might be a bit weaker though. When you have a chance checking on records of winters from 50s to 70s, you'll see that winters today are quite comparable, maybe even still not that bad. We've been just spoiled recently by mild winters of 80s, 90s and 00s.

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    Last night I watched Springwatch, a programme on BBC Two. They were explaining that the Jet stream (air currents), rather than the Gulf Stream (water currents) was the cause of spring being over a month late in most of Europe this year. In March and April, the Jet stream was supposed to flow at the latitude of southern England and northern Germany, but it was still as far south as central Spain. This allowed cold air from Scandinavia to flow into most of Western Europe at a time when the region should have been receiving warm air currents from the south. They cited the melting of the Arctic ice as one of the possible causes for this anomaly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grubbe View Post
    Even if the Golf Stream is movingaway, I read a couple of years ago (in a Norwegian newspaper) that it wasn't asimportant to the Northern European climate as previously thought; that theRocky Mountains in the USA was more important. I am sure the Norwegiannewspaper didn't invent the stuff themselves, so there is probably an Americanor English study on it somewhere.
    Here is something about "the Rocky Mountains connection" in English: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/res/div/ocp/gs/


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    In winter the Artic would freeze so the warm Gulf Stream will still circle back around Europe and the winds from the ocean will still blow over Europe in winter so it would not be as cold as Eastern Canada which gets the Artic winds from Alberta.

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Wheather and climate are very unpredictable, especially around here, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions after 5 months. Moreover, up north, in Scandinavia the wheather seems to be very nice the last few weeks, shouldn't they be affected by the Gulfstream in the same way?
    Isn't there anyway to measure and monitor the Gulfstream? I'm pretty sure, if the Gulfstream were moving away, we'd allready have heared about it ..

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    The world wind patterns in the tropics follow the sun i.e. east to west because of the earth's rotation on its axis. In the temperate zones to counteract the westward winds there are eastward winds thus Europe gets winds from ocean to land which is warm. In Canada, Siberia and east Asia the eastward winds gets cooled and brings Arctic cold to Siberia and East Asia and Alberta and Eastern Canada.

    Land cools faster than the ocean water hence air over land is cold in winter and hot in summer while the ocean air is relatively warm in winter and cool in summer compared to land air.
    Last edited by oriental; 01-06-13 at 21:18.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bicicleur View Post
    Wheather and climate are very unpredictable, especially around here, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions after 5 months. Moreover, up north, in Scandinavia the wheather seems to be very nice the last few weeks,.
    Same here in south Alberta. It is cold and dump, while 2,000 km up North in Yukon Territory is warm and sunny. Feels like a year of La Ninia. Weather pattern that starts in Pacific Ocean and effects America the most. Sort of like Golf Stream for Europe.

    This map shows temperature deviation from average, from January 2013.



    http://www.elnino.noaa.gov/

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    1 out of 1 members found this post helpful.
    Solar cycle also has an impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, especially Europe and North America.
    And indeed, the sun is out! The Solar cycle should have rise again since 2009 after a 11-year cycle. But the activity is "flat".

    And two or three years, with slightly colder temperatures, does not reflect a changing climate. The climate is never fixed

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    strange we had no spring and unusual cold weather also here.. it's raining a lot every day, and the temperatures are 15-17 celsius, while in this period at the end of may we should have temperature of 26 degrees going also to 30 degrees.

    we had more than 12 perturbations from descending here from north western europe, this month of may.

    while in this period the anticiclone of the Azorre should have worked.. it's the azorre cilcone that brings summer in southern europe, blocking the perturabtions from northern europe.. and occasionally give space to scirocco winds bringing muggy weather (and also sahara sands visible on the cars)

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    There are all kinds of winds that create irregularity. There are the Jet Stream and the Pineapple Express. Aerodynamics and Hydrodynamics are difficult subjects predictability is difficult. Weather and climate use both of these fields and earth studies as well as astronomy and chemistry with all those greenhouse gases being produced. Meteorology is not a perfect discipline yet despite all the satellites whirling around.

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    Quote Originally Posted by julia90 View Post
    strange we had no spring and unusual cold weather also here.. it's raining a lot every day, and the temperatures are 15-17 celsius, while in this period at the end of may we should have temperature of 26 degrees going also to 30 degrees.

    we had more than 12 perturbations from descending here from north western europe, this month of may.

    while in this period the anticiclone of the Azorre should have worked.. it's the azorre cilcone that brings summer in southern europe, blocking the perturabtions from northern europe.. and occasionally give space to scirocco winds bringing muggy weather (and also sahara sands visible on the cars)
    And at the same time, 30 ° in Scandinavia!

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    Good News!
    Computer model is way off, actually 44 of them. Real world data doesn't agree with fast warming, or any warming, for last 16 years. Actually average global temperature is stagnant, if not dropping a bit recently.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/06/28/c...l-projections/

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    On this matter in general, it is important to keep in mind that climatic changes cannot be taken into any serious consideration, unless on a geologic time scale. I have been reading about sixty-year cycles, hundred-year cycles and so on - but let me remind you that no real prediction of regularity in trends and changes can be inferred from such ridiculous amounts of time. Geologists know that planet Earth lives on with its own ample, majestic rythm, and a few colder-than-before winters have no more meaning than a casual, random, insignificant shiver on your back during the day. This is also the reason why all that blabbering we hear about the doom of life on earth due to man-induced global warming is simply garbage. Of course, man should definitely respect the environment, but that is true to avoid pollution, exploitation of resources, destruction of biological heritage, etc. - not at all to avoid global warming, which has its oscillations determined by mighty natural mechanisms, only observable on a (minimum) thousand-year time perspective.
    On the Gulf stream in particular, I'm not surprised to read about its changes. This fenomenon has occurred in the past as well, and has most probably affected all other sea- and air-currents, with important effects on human settlements and cultures. See w w w .systematics.org/journal/vol1-3/SJ1-3c.htm

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    Good News!
    Computer model is way off, actually 44 of them. Real world data doesn't agree with fast warming, or any warming, for last 16 years. Actually average global temperature is stagnant, if not dropping a bit recently.

    http://notrickszone.com/2013/06/28/c...l-projections/

    A recent article on BBC News explains how the slowdown in the rate of temperature increases over the past one and a half decade has been caused by oceans sucking up this extra heat (perhaps to make up for the melting ice at the poles cooling the overall ocean levels). Once this phenomenon comes to an end, global temperature will suddenly rise and catch up with the curve of the computer model. If that is true we are in for some major economic and political upheavals worldwide.

    Here is the passage in question from BBC News:

    Recent research indicates that the rate of increase in emissions might be slowing down, but the gases can continue to concentrate in the atmosphere and exert a climate influence for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    Scientists believe that the new data indicates that global warming will be back with a vengeance, after a slowdown in the rate of temperature increases over the past 14 years.

    "The laws of physics and chemistry are not negotiable," said Michel Jarraud.

    "Greenhouse gases are what they are, the laws of physics show they can only contribute to warming the system, but parts of this heat may go in different places like the oceans for some periods of time," he said.

    This view was echoed by Prof Piers Forster from the University of Leeds.

    "For the past decade or so the oceans have been sucking up this extra heat, meaning that surface temperatures have only increased slowly.

    "Don't expect this state of affairs to continue though, the extra heat will eventually come out and bite us, so expect strong warming over the coming decades."

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    And here are some data, collected by an independent source, that prove the "decade-perspective" in climatic changes is far too short-sighted to justify any prediction, worry or relief (apart from the poisoning of water air and soli, of course).
    w w w.paulmacrae.com/?p=62

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    A recent article on BBC News explains how the slowdown in the rate of temperature increases over the past one and a half decade has been caused by oceans sucking up this extra heat (perhaps to make up for the melting ice at the poles cooling the overall ocean levels). Once this phenomenon comes to an end, global temperature will suddenly rise and catch up with the curve of the computer model. If that is true we are in for some major economic and political upheavals worldwide.

    Here is the passage in question from BBC News:

    Recent research indicates that the rate of increase in emissions might be slowing down, but the gases can continue to concentrate in the atmosphere and exert a climate influence for hundreds if not thousands of years.

    Scientists believe that the new data indicates that global warming will be back with a vengeance, after a slowdown in the rate of temperature increases over the past 14 years.

    "The laws of physics and chemistry are not negotiable," said Michel Jarraud.

    "Greenhouse gases are what they are, the laws of physics show they can only contribute to warming the system, but parts of this heat may go in different places like the oceans for some periods of time," he said.

    This view was echoed by Prof Piers Forster from the University of Leeds.

    "For the past decade or so the oceans have been sucking up this extra heat, meaning that surface temperatures have only increased slowly.

    "Don't expect this state of affairs to continue though, the extra heat will eventually come out and bite us, so expect strong warming over the coming decades."
    On one hand I'm skeptical on the other I hope that we can produce enough greenhouse gases to stop next Ice Age, which according to historical timelines is around the corner. If Ice Age comes Canada and Northern Europe will vanish. Billions would die because we wouldn't be able to produce so much food under cold and dry conditions during long Ice Age to sustain 7 billion peeps.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeBrok View Post
    On one hand I'm skeptical on the other I hope that we can produce enough greenhouse gases to stop next Ice Age, which according to historical timelines is around the corner. If Ice Age comes Canada and Northern Europe will vanish. Billions would die because we wouldn't be able to produce so much food under cold and dry conditions during long Ice Age to sustain 7 billion peeps.
    "Around the corner" could be a few thousands years away. Let's see if humanity survives till then first.

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    Sometimes the streams in the oceans can be variable in speed and behaviour. But the Gulf Stream and others mostly depend on the magnetisim of the earth. So if there is no change in magnetisim there is also not in Gulf Stream.

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    Quote Originally Posted by intorg View Post
    Sometimes the streams in the oceans can be variable in speed and behaviour. But the Gulf Stream and others mostly depend on the magnetisim of the earth. So if there is no change in magnetisim there is also not in Gulf Stream.
    Never heard of magnetism affecting Golf Stream. It is more about Earth spin and winds dictating direction of Gulf Stream.
    Welcome to Eupedia intorg.

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