How does the Gulf Stream affect the climate?

How does the Gulf Stream affect the climate?

Today, they are more frequently talking about climate change and associating it with the Gulf Stream temperature and speed which has begun to gradually slow down. Scientists believe that the coming of the small ice age on the Earth in the 1300s is connected with the slowdown of the Gulf Stream.

Today, they are more frequently talking about climate change and associating it with the Gulf Stream temperature and speed which has begun to gradually slow down. Scientists believe that the coming of the small ice age on the Earth in the 1300s is connected with the slowdown of the Gulf Stream.

What is the Gulf Stream, what is its importance?

The Gulf Stream is a whole current system in the Atlantic. It extends over 10 thousand kilometers. It carries more water than all the rivers of our planet at the same time. The Gulf Stream temperature and speed on the surface is + 25-26 degrees and 1-2 m/s. According to statistics, its speed has fallen by 15-20% over the past two centuries. Such an unprecedented slowdown brought extreme heat in Europe.

The essence of the problem

How does the Gulf Stream affect the climate? This warm current is today considered the main factor in mild winters in Europe as it carries warm water from the eastern shores of the United States to the northwestern part of Europe. There is a real threat that this current may disappear altogether. In this case, the climatic situation in Europe and the USA will change dramatically. Severe winters will come to Europe and intense heat to the east of America. At the same time, the sea level in the USA will increase.

It is still not precisely established why the speed of this Atlantic current changes. Scientists are inclined to believe that the melting of glaciers in Greenland is to blame. As a result, an excessive amount of freshwater enters the ocean which slows down the Gulf Stream. Some researchers believe that after reaching a critical point the Atlantic current will stop. They predict that this will happen in the next decade.
The worst thing is that the slowdown in circulation is happening at a faster pace than was predicted by scientists. In addition, for 2 years, the Gulf Stream deviated significantly from its previous direction (up to 800 km!) And turned to the north-west, i.e. towards Canada.

For the first time, the slowdown of the Gulf Stream was noticed in 1850 due to a natural change in the climate but the second time this happened in 2004, this time through the fault of man. The reason was the massive burning of fuel. But the environmental situation on the planet every year is only getting worse, so the prospects are not encouraging. Unsurprisingly, mass strikes against climate change are taking place.

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