Good news: Important warm ocean currents apparently unaffected by melting ice sheets
A NASA physical oceanographer has found no slow down in the giant ocean currents that bring warm water from the tropical Pacific to the North Atlantic. These currents, which function like a ‘conveyor belt’ driven by ocean salinity, make much of Europe far more habitable than it would be without the constant influx of warm water. The observation that these currents are not slowing and probably have not slowed since the early 90s is good news for warm-current dependent regions like the UK.
These latest findings, which draw on data from drifting sensors and satellites, support other recent evidence downplaying the likelihood of a warming climate precipitating an ice age.
From Science magazine article:
Scientists and the public had worried that global warming might be shutting down the conveyor flow and threatening a big chill for Europe. Now, judging by its behavior, the conveyor appears to be far less susceptible to throttling by climate change than once feared.
Andrew C. Revkin’s ‘Dot Earth’ blog on the New York Times also discusses the recent findings from NASA regarding ocean currents as well as increasing flows of fresh water from melting ice sheets. It’s one of those rare news or blog posts that actually has a comment section worth reading.
by Graham Land