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« Smart computers identify images by thinking: pictures, art collections, satellite images and pathology slides | Main | New Alzheimer's Drug -Tramiprosate, Shows Promise in Clinical Trial »

November 03, 2006

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Farm Girl

I can't remember where I saw it, maybe it was in the Inconvenient Truth movie or on the web maybe, but wasn't there something about how if the gulf stream halts or changes (I think they said due to desalinization from polar ice cap melt), that this would create warming of the climate in the United States, but at the same time this would create a cooler climate in Europe and the UK?
For some reason that popped into my head.

David Elfstrom

This is a myth. Europe will not have any noticeably different climate if the Gulf Stream stops.

Please read (it's very interesting, actually, with lots of colourful illustrations)

The Source of Euope's Mild Climate
American Scientist vol. 94, July-August 2006
The notion that the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe anomalously warm turns out to be a myth
http://www.americanscientist.org/template/AssetDetail/assetid/51963?fulltext=true&print=yes

In a nutshell, the amount of heat from the Gulf Stream, while large, is insignificant compared to the heat carried by prevailing winds -- caused by the earth's rotation -- that take warm air from stored summer solar energy the ocean and heat up the Western coastlines of both Europe and North America. This is why Vancouver also has mild temperatures despite having a cold arctic stream traveling down from the north.

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