The future of the ocean: Gulf stream blew a hole in global warming

© Depositphotos / GUDKOVANDREYАйсберг mountains in the backgroundThe future of the ocean: Gulf stream blew a hole in global warming© Depositphotos / GUDKOVANDREYПодпишись to daily updates RIA Science

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Since the nineteenth century oceanic heating in Western Europe weakened significantly. Scientists attribute this to climate change on the planet and paint a bleak scenario of the future. What threatens the disappearance of deep-water currents of the North Atlantic and what is the fate of the Gulf stream — in the material RIA Novosti.

Suspicious cold

Ten years ago, South Greenland found a stretch of water of the size of a European country, which, instead of, as the whole planet to warm up, cool down. It was called «hole in global warming», «cold bubble» (cold blobs). In 2015 he broke a temperature record cold, although the planet as a whole year was the hottest.

Scientists have suggested that over the «cold bubble» accumulate atmospheric aerosols and intercept a portion of solar radiation. The hypothesis was not confirmed. Now «hole in global warming» is associated with a slowing of the North Atlantic current. The so-called part of the deep-sea pipeline that continues the Gulf stream, carrying heat to the Arctic.

«It used to drive me mad headlines in the media that the Gulf stream will stop. From a strictly scientific point of view, this for — on the ocean surface, it creates wind. Something in it can change over time, but there is no indication that it will disappear in the next century,» explains RIA Novosti Nikolay Koldunov, member of the Institute for polar and marine research Alfred Wegener (Germany).

In relation to the North Atlantic current, which is often confused with the Gulf stream, such concerns are appropriate. This current is determined by the changes in salinity and water temperature (thermohaline circulation).

Warm salty water moving from South to North. Are cooled, become heavier and sink to a depth. There slowly turn around and begin the return journey that spans thousands of years. Through this mechanism, all the World’s oceans are gradually mixed.

«In the 1990s began measuring the ocean from satellites, received information about the topography of the water surface on which it is possible to study surface currents on a global scale. In the beginning in the United States launched the project «Argo» — thousands of buoys that measure water parameters at depths up to two kilometers, and transmitting information to the satellites. Data accumulate, but they are not enough» — continues scientist.

There are direct measurements of the transport of water in the conveyor in the North Atlantic for ten years — from 2004 to 2014 (project RAPID-AMOC). They do show a slowdown, but says nothing about the long-term trend.

Due to lack of input data and computer power much we have to simplify, to go to various tricks. For example, a group in which Witches, engaged in dynamic global models of ocean currents of the new generation. In more recent work researchers have shown how to increase the resolution on specific areas of the ocean to have more details where they are important, for example in the Gulf stream.

Modeling of the ocean requires enormous computational resources. And due to the point change the resolution, you can save expensive supercomputer time.

The future of the ocean: Gulf stream blew a hole in global warming

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