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This blog is to store what I consider to be important - or weird - stories about health and science. To read these, you will need the Adobe Reader; you may download it at: Be sure to check out my political blog at: Welcome to my friends from LeftWingRadicals!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Thermohaline shutting down

My friends have said - for a long time - that I have the Chicken Little syndrome: The sky is falling! The sky is falling! However, though most people ignored it, the Pentagon came out with a well-researched report that said that the scenario already underway is a dire one, and they were so concerned that they actually produced a report on it (PDF file link).

I have been going on and on about the thermohaline circulation (the ocean conveyor - picture) that brings warm water into the North Atlantic and keeps Europe warm. Should this conveyor shut down (the concept behind "The Day After Tomorrow" movie), Europe would plunge into an ice age, since it's on the same latitude as Nova Scotia. We are already seeing some of the effects (link).

I have been saying, for months, that the NOAA watch on the current has been remarking that it has been 'strikingly weak' (link). Additionally, if the Northern Atlantic has more fresh water, and the equator gets saltier, that would also work to stop the thermohaline circulation, and both of those things have happened (link). There are two main events that have taken place in the North Atlantic that contributed to this; one was Lake Ellsmere breaking out and releasing billions of gallons of fresh water into the North Atlantic (link), and the other is the ongoing flood of water coming from rivers in Russia that are draining off the increasing melt.

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