If you want to understand the total “climate change” process and its strong effects on lands and sea, you need to go to the depths of the ocean and check how the warm water circulations react to the sudden changes at global temperatures. A group of climate scientists from the UK have been doing this for a few years and the first results of their researches do not give us a bright picture.

Early in 2004, researchers National Oceanography Center at Southampton deployed 19 sets of instruments during a voyage across the Atlantic at 26.5 degrees North, from the north-western coast of Africa to the Bahamas. Scientists at US, installed further moorings on the western side of the ocean. These instruments measure flow, salinity, temperature and water pressure. After leaving the installments one year in the ocean, the scientists collected the data and inspected the variation at warm water movements, particularly of the Gulf Stream. The story below was clipped from the BBC:

clipped from news.bbc.co.uk
The Atlantic circulation brings warm water to Europe, keeping the continent 4-6C warmer than it would be otherwise.
As the water reaches the cold Arctic, it sinks, returning southwards deeper in the ocean.

Some computer models of climate change predict this Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, of which the Gulf Stream is the best-known component, could weaken severely or even stop completely as global temperatures rise, a scenario taken to extremes in the Hollywood movie The Day After Tomorrow.
Last year the same UK-led team published evidence that the circulation may have weakened by about 30% over half a century.
The key for scientists, then, has been to measure and understand how the circulation varies naturally
and its first results show that the circulation varies substantially, by a factor of eight, even during a single year.

Atlantic map.  Image: BBC

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