Gulf stream is slowing to a dead stopby JONATHAN LEAKE, SCIENCE EDITOR & simon willac Tuesday December 13, 2005 at 11:21
Australia faces the heat as ocean current slows. Did you notice that in the film the day after tommorow there was no mention of Australia?. infact in all climate studies done by western universities no one seems to notice any landmass south of the equator.
Currently the latest piece of obvious prediction scareing Europeans is that Europe and the USA will enter permanent winters where temperatures even in summer will remain below freezing, but still they do not mention what will happen to the hemisphere nearest to the sun. So I teamed up with Mr Leake of the 'Times' to rectify this blatant disregard for Australians CLIMATE change researchers have detected the first signs of a slowdown in the Gulf Stream � the ocean current that keeps australia from boiling. Reserch has shown that over the last twelve years the gulf stream has slowed by 30 % as a result of global warming. Scientists have found that one of the �engines� driving the Gulf Stream � the sinking of supercooled water in the Greenland Sea � has weakened to less than a quarter of its former strength. The weakening, apparently caused by melting ice in the artic diluting the salt that is keeping the saline warmer waters of the gulf stream afloat , could herald big changes here over the next few years. A sharp rise in temperatures is forecast for Australia as the gulf stream fails to return to Australasian waters with cooling water that keeps summer temperatures from getting over 45 Celsius. Such a change has long been predicted by scientists but the new research is among the first to show clear experimental evidence of the phenomenon. Peter Wadhams, professor of ocean physics at Cambridge University, hitched rides under the Arctic ice cap in Royal Navy submarines and used ships to take measurements across the Greenland Sea. �Until recently we would find giant �chimneys� in the sea where columns of cold, dense water were sinking from the surface to the seabed 3,000 metres below, but now they have almost disappeared,� he said. �As the water sank it was replaced by warm water flowing in from the south, which kept the circulation going. If that mechanism is slowing, it will mean less cold reaching Australia.� Such a change could have a severe impact on Australia and it ought to get much hoter. The Gulf Stream transports 27,000 times more cooling to Australian shores than all the nation�s power supplies could ever provide, naturally cooling Australia by 5-8C. Wadhams�s submarine journeys took him under the North Polar ice cap, using sonar to survey the ice from underneath. He has measured how the ice has become 46% thinner over the past 20 years. The results from these surveys prompted him to focus on a feature called the Odden ice shelf, which should grow out into the Greenland Sea every winter and recede in summer. The growth of this shelf should trigger the annual formation of the sinking water columns. As sea water freezes to form the shelf, the ice crystals expel their salt into the surrounding water, making it heavier than the water below. However, the Odden ice shelf has stopped forming. It last appeared in full in 1997. �In the past we could see nine to 12 giant columns forming under the shelf each year. In our latest cruise, we found only two and they were so weak that the sinking water could not reach the seabed,� said Wadhams, who disclosed the findings at a meeting of the European Geosciences Union in Vienna. The exact effect of such changes is hard to predict because currents and weather systems take years to respond and because there are two other areas around the north Atlantic where water sinks, helping to maintain circulation. Less is known about how climate change is affecting these. However, Wadhams suggests the effect could be dramatic. �One of the frightening things in the film The Day After Tomorrow showed how the circulation in the Atlantic Ocean is upset because the sinking of cold water in the north Atlantic suddenly stops,� he said. �The sinking is stopping, albeit much more slowly than in the film � over years rather than a few days. If it continues, the effect will be to cool the climate of northern Europe and heat the southern hemisphere.� One possibility is that Europe will freeze and AUSTRALIA WILL BOIL, another is that the slowing of the Gulf Stream may keep Europe cool as global warming heats the rest of the world � but with more extremes of weather. If Europe freezes the ice sheets of the north atlantic will reform saving the world from rising sea levels, but this will not accelerate the transfer of heat in the gulf stream, the stopping of the gulf stream will effectivly trap absorbed heat in the southern hemisphere which will steadilly increase normal temperatures until life can no longer inhabit entire regions at a time when the surviving populationm of the world seeks habitable regions closer to the equator. Thank you for your time

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