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Gulf Stream (1 Viewer)

jpoyner

Well-known member
Well the Beeb gave it about 30 seconds sandwiched in somewhere on tonight's news but apparently results just published are showing that the gulf stream IS cooling (as predicted), due to extra cold water from melting polar ice. Sad they gave so little time to possibly the first sign of one of the most dramatic climatic changes to hit the UK. Forget warming in the short term here, if the gulf stream switches off it's going to get pretty damn cold!

"Computer models have predicted that if it turned off completely, Europe would cool by perhaps four to six degrees Celsius.

Commenting in Nature, Detlef Quadfasel from the University of Hamburg writes that the NOC experiments provide "...the first observational evidence that such a decrease of the oceanic overturning circulation is well underway."




http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/4485840.stm

JP.
 
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London Birder

Well-known member
saw that ... 30 seconds is about right, sort of hit and run coverage, also mentioned how one part of the Gulf Stream that reaches North Africa is warming and mentioned something about 2020 ... eek
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
we are already batting it about on the wind farm thread - home to all nebulous debates of this nature... scary stuff though.. its gone from threatened possibility sometime in the next century... to buy shares in thermal undies companies in a few days!

Changes in rainfall patterns as a result are the next rather alarming stage to the process. bye bye central American and Brazillian rainforests!
 

London Birder

Well-known member
alas, my contribution to said thread could but only = squat (far too technical for me, though fascinating) ... however, I'll be instructing my accountant to invest heavily in any strengthend goretex gusset markets this side of the hindu kush
 

Jane Turner

Well-known member
Katy Penland said:
Sounds like "The Day After Tomorrow." ;)

Its precisely like the day after tomorrow.... if this does happen we.. and you in the US, will have serious trouble feeding ourselves.
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
I think that changes to the UK from cooling are likely to be far greater than warming in the short term. Many species of birds just won't cope with harder winters so we could well loose them, not to mention the effect of frosts on the flora and agriculture. Although similar latitudes in Europe will still get warm summers due to the effect of the land mass, ours would become cool and damp a bit like northern Norway now. At a guess I'd say it would equal a shift of Scotlands current climate down to southern England, while up here we'd be more like North Norway! The knock on effect on energy consumption from heating could also be a big problem.......they better get building those nuclear power stations!
What's even more worrying is that it's likely to be a fairly rapid shift.....the gulf stream has such a massive effect on our climate that once it shifts or decays the change will be dramatic.

JP
 
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Jane Turner

Well-known member
and another.... looking at the financial impacts

http://moneycentral.msn.com/content/p33399.asp


since its written for investment bankers.. its a wee bit less techy

The problem boils down to this. Fresh water is lighter than salt water. So when it builds up in the Northern Atlantic, either because the polar ice caps are melting or rain has increased or some other reason, it blocks the Gulf Stream from bringing warmer water up from the equator.

Over the past 30 years, an extra 10 feet of fresh water has amassed in the high-latitude North Atlantic. “All the models tell us this should lead to a cooling in Europe and North America, but we don’t know how rapidly that cooling will occur,” says Schmitt. He thinks the change could happen anytime over the next 10 to 100 years.


In a worst-case scenario, winter temperatures could drop by 10 degrees in the northeastern United States and Europe on average, say scientists at Woods Hole. That’s enough to clog harbors and shipping lanes with ice, disrupt ground and air transportation, drive up energy needs and disrupt food supplies. Europe would suffer worse than the United States because it depends more on the Gulf Stream for warmth during the winter
 
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TexasFlyway

Hook 'em Horns
Recently saw a science show on the decreasing magnetic field of the Earth. It has decreased some 10% in a very short period of time (decades). So now the prediction is the earth's core is cooling and causing the collapse of the magnetic field. The thing is, it could shut off at any time since we don't know the exact mechanisms that sustain the core. When that occurs the Earth will have no protection from the solar winds and radiation will cook us all and the earth will look like Mars.

So something else to worry about, along with global warming/ice age, Gulfstream failure, rainforest deforestation, etc, etc.

And don't forget about that drunk driver headed your way also! :eek!:
 
as i thought

nothing to worry about

Right now, it seems that the Earth's field is rapidly decreasing, and should fall to near zero in a few thousand years. It's done that many times in the past. The record of these events, where the field actually reverses directions, can be found in the layers of magnetized rocks near the surface.

good evidence for 'sea floor spreading' though
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
TexasFlyway said:
Recently saw a science show on the decreasing magnetic field of the Earth. It has decreased some 10% in a very short period of time (decades). So now the prediction is the earth's core is cooling and causing the collapse of the magnetic field. The thing is, it could shut off at any time since we don't know the exact mechanisms that sustain the core. When that occurs the Earth will have no protection from the solar winds and radiation will cook us all and the earth will look like Mars.

So something else to worry about, along with global warming/ice age, Gulfstream failure, rainforest deforestation, etc, etc.

And don't forget about that drunk driver headed your way also! :eek!:

The Magnetic field has "flipped" numerous times in the past, a decrease could also show the onset of this phenomena too. It is apparently overdue for another "flip" so might be what's happening. The scenario won't be as bad as above as the field should regain strength but just be reverse polarity. Will bugger up our navigation systems and the effect on migratory birds could be interesting too.

JP

JP
 
Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time - contrary to popular belief - the magnetic field does not vanish. "It just gets more complicated," says Glatzmaier. Magnetic lines of force near Earth's surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. A south magnetic pole might emerge over Africa, for instance, or a north pole over Tahiti. Weird. But it's still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.

Supercomputer models of Earth's magnetic field. One is a normal dipolar magnetic field, typical of the long years between polarity reversals. Other is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has during the upheaval of a reversal.

interesting tho
 

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London Birder

Well-known member
collapse of the magnetic field! well if that scenario looks like it may come to pass any time soon all else would pale into insignificance ... one thing I'd like to ask, and I ask as a complete layman with regards to global warming (and not a little confused by so much seemingly conflicting information) ... have we gone too far down the road, would all the changes we'd like to see come about actually halt any further climactic change and can a certain percentage of global warming (if it's at all measurable) be attributed to cyclical climatic shifts which occur anyway?

sounds likes I have a poor understanding of it all, which is true
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
Tim Allwood said:
Reversals take a few thousand years to complete, and during that time - contrary to popular belief - the magnetic field does not vanish. "It just gets more complicated," says Glatzmaier. Magnetic lines of force near Earth's surface become twisted and tangled, and magnetic poles pop up in unaccustomed places. A south magnetic pole might emerge over Africa, for instance, or a north pole over Tahiti. Weird. But it's still a planetary magnetic field, and it still protects us from space radiation and solar storms.

Supercomputer models of Earth's magnetic field. One is a normal dipolar magnetic field, typical of the long years between polarity reversals. Other is the sort of complicated magnetic field Earth has during the upheaval of a reversal.

interesting tho

Am putting a little sticky dot on my compass right now......I'll report back, if I'm still here!!


JP
 

TexasFlyway

Hook 'em Horns
Agree on the magnetic reversals Tim, they are well documented in the magnetic signature left in rocks. However, this latest theory is not about reversal it is a shutting down. The core is cooling, and if the radiation levels fall below a certain threshold then all bets are off.

Of course none of these scientists can say exactly when, nor if this will occur. Which was my point. Neither can all the other domesday theories be guaranteed to occur, nor can their exact consequences be predicted. There are too many variables in a little understood Earth system.

It is only recently that scientists have had the tools to make some of the observations they have made. But extrapolating that data and predicting the future of the Earth is speculation at best.

I also forgot to mention the mega volcano looming in Grand Canyon National Park that some scientists predict will cause it's own ice Age when it blows.

There are scientists out there from meteor/asteroid hunters to Gulfstream temperature recorders all telling us the same thing....It all could end at any moment. In fact given all the ways we seem to be scheduled for extinction, global warming seems almost benign.
 

jpoyner

Well-known member
London Birder said:
collapse of the magnetic field! well if that scenario looks like it may come to pass any time soon all else would pale into insignificance ... one thing I'd like to ask, and I ask as a complete layman with regards to global warming (and not a little confused by so much seemingly conflicting information) ... have we gone too far down the road, would all the changes we'd like to see come about actually halt any further climactic change and can a certain percentage of global warming (if it's at all measurable) be attributed to cyclical climatic shifts which occur anyway?

sounds likes I have a poor understanding of it all, which is true

Big question! There are cyclical shifts ie. Iceages, but these happen over a long period of time. The current warming is happening much faster and seems to be related directly to our CO2 output. It is the speed of the change which is the main factor here, far greater than any natural change would be.
I think we just don't know how far "down the road" we have gone, which is why it should be prudent to stop CO2 emissions in the hope it might reverse, as we are now pretty sure this is the cause.
But that just ain't going to happen is it?

JP
 

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