Benjamin Franklin became interested in the North Atlantic Ocean circulation patterns. Why did it take British packets several weeks longer to reach New York from England than it took an average American merchant ship to reach Newport, Rhode Islanddespite the merchant ships leaving from London and having to sail down the River Thames and then the length of the English Channel before they sailed across the Atlantic, while the packets left from Falmouth in Cornwall?
In the movie, global warming had accelerated the melting of polar ice, which disrupted circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, triggering violent changes in the weather.
Scientists pooh-poohed the dire scenarios in the movie, but affirmed that climate change could indeed affect ocean circulation—could it shut down the Gulf Stream? The many ocean currents and wind systems that move heat from the equator northwards towards the poles then transport the cold water back towards the equator make up Gulf stream thermohaline circulation.
Thermo refers to temperature while haline denotes salt content; both factors determine the density of ocean waters. Broecker theorized that changes in the thermohaline circulation triggered dramatic changes in the North Atlantic during the last ice age. Because saltier colder water is denser and thus heavier, it drops deep into the ocean and moves along the depths until it can rise to the surface near the equator, usually in the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Heat from the sun then warms the cold water at the surface, and evaporation leaves the water saltier. The warm salty water is then carried northwards; it joins the Gulf Stream, a large powerful ocean current that is also driven by winds. The warm salty water travels up the U.
Once the water releases its heat and reaches the North Atlantic, it becomes very cold and dense again, and sinks to the deep ocean. The thermohaline circulation plays a key role in determining the climate of different regions of the earth.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, part of the thermohaline circulation which includes the Gulf Stream, is the ocean circulation system that carries heat north from the tropics and Southern Hemisphere until it loses it in the northern North Atlantic, Nordic and Labrador Seas, which leads to the deep sinking of the colder waters.
Global warming can affect this by warming surface waters and melting ice that adds fresh water to the circulation, making the waters less saline; this freshening of the water can prevent the cold waters from sinking and thus alter ocean currents.
As the planet warms, more and more fresh water is entering the system. That May, the Arctic lost about 23, square miles of ice daily, compared to the long-term average loss of 18, square miles per day.
A study by Marco Tedesco, a research professor at Lamont-Doherty specializing in Greenland, and colleagues suggested that a reduction in the temperature difference between the polar and temperate regions the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet pulled the jet stream air currents northwards.
The warm moist air it carried hovered over Greenland, causing the record melting. All these factors are pointing in the direction of increasing the freshwater discharge in the North Atlantic section of the Arctic.
The circulation has slowed between 15 and 20 percent in the 20th century, an anomaly unprecedented over the last millennium, which suggests it is not due to natural variability. The scientists hypothesized that this could explain why, ina specific patch in the middle of the North Atlantic was the coldest on record since while global temperatures everywhere else were increasing.
The study suggested that the unusual cooling of this region could be due to a weakening of the global conveyor that is already occurring. It seems to have made a partial recovery since We would not return to very cold conditions, however, because the oceans have taken up so much heat.
Another study that modeled a hypothetical slowdown or collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation concluded that a collapse could result in widespread cooling throughout the North Atlantic and Europe though this would be somewhat mitigated by global warmingincreased sea ice in the North Atlantic, changes in tropical precipitation patterns, stronger North Atlantic storms, reduced precipitation and river flow as well as reduced crop productivity in Europe.
These effects would impact many regions around the globe. Sea levels would be affected as well. Currently sea levels are lower on the U. If the Gulf Stream is weakened, the temperature differential between the two sides is reduced, so sea levels will rise on the west of the Gulf Stream along the U.Gulfstream provides fulfilling careers and a great place to work, challenge the mind, drive creativity and innovation, and inspire teamwork and mutual respect.
The Gulf Stream as represented by the Mariano Global Surface Velocity Analysis (MGSVA). The Gulf Stream is the western boundary current of the N. Atlantic subtropical gyre. The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension the North Atlantic Drift, is a warm and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and stretches to the tip of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean.
The process of western intensification causes the Gulf Stream . The Gulf Stream House is located in picturesque down town Hammondsport New York, located a block from Keuka lake and near the village square. Make a reservation today! Apr 15, · Scientists are raising alarm bells after two studies found that the Gulf Stream—an ocean current key to regulating Earth's climate—is the weakest it's been in 1, years, the Guardian.
The Gulf Stream is a powerful current in the Atlantic Ocean. It starts in the Gulf of Mexico and flows into the Atlantic at the tip of Florida, accelerating along the eastern coastlines of .