Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Frightening news from the Atlantic. No, I'm not referring to the just-ending hurricane season. Rather, the Gulf Stream -- that great oceanic conveyer belt that moderates Europe's climate by carrying warm tropical waters to the far north -- has weakened by roughly a third in the last 50 years, according to a new study appearing in the December 1 edition of the journal Nature. A slackening Gulf Stream has been predicted by computer models simulating a warming atmosphere due to greenhouse gases. Some of those models have projected a sharp and rather sudden plunge in European temperatures if the trend continues.