Sunday, April 11, 2010

Climate Change News: the Gulf Stream is OK

For several years scientists have feared that the melting of land-based ice in Greenland would interrupt the flow of warm water from the Gulf of Mexico toward Europe. This could potentially cause severe winters and or even a regional ice age in Europe. At the beginning of Holocene, approximately 10,000 years ago, the melting of the land-based ice in North America disrupted the Gulf Stream enough to cause an ice age in Europe for centuries.

In 2003 one study detected a freshening of the Gulf Stream, a decrease in salinity that was seen as indicator that the meltwater from Greenland was having an effect on the ocean current. Since then, several other studies have suggested much the same thing. Fortunately, new research has found no overall change in the flow of the ocean currents in the Atlantic. This is good news, though some researchers say it may simply be a matter of time before start seeing an effect.

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