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Scientists are monitoring a massive pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean

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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:51 AM
Original message
Scientists are monitoring a massive pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean
AMSTERDAM Scientists are monitoring a massive pool of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean that could spill into the Atlantic and potentially alter the key ocean currents that give Western Europe its moderate climate.

The oceanographers said yesterday that the unusual accumulation has been caused by Siberian and Canadian rivers dumping more water into the Arctic and from melting sea ice. Both are consequences of global warming.

If it flushes into the Atlantic, the infusion of fresh water could, in the worst case, change the ocean current that brings warmth from the tropics to European shores, said Laura De Steur of the Royal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research.

German researcher Benjamin Rabe, of the Alfred Wegener Institute, said the Arctics fresh water content had increased 20 percent since the 1990s about 8,400 cubic kilometers. That is the equivalent of Lake Michigan and Lake Huron together

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/articles/2011/04/06/a... /


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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:53 AM
Response to Original message
1. If the Artic is that warm now, and only getting warmer, how cold can
Northern Europe get?
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:27 AM
Response to Reply #1
7. Well....take a look at a globe
What other places are at the same latitude as, say, London.

The northern half of Canada. Siberia.

The thing that keeps London from having the same climate as those locations is the gulf stream. The disaster scenario is the gulf stream is blocked by meltwater in the arctic. Resulting in Europe's climate becoming similar to other places at the same latitude. So instead of having moderate temperatures, London becomes snowbound.
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hedgehog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Apr-07-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #7
12. I understand that without the Gulf Stream, northern Europe
freezes provided that all other factors remain the same. But we are discussing a scenario in which the Gulf Stream stops because the northern regions get warmer. If, for example, the climate in Northern Canada and Siberia become more like the climate 100 or 500 miles to the south, I suspect we are in uncharted territory.
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jeff47 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 09:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
13. The problem is the increased temperature is not as large as you are thinking
Temp goes up 5 degrees. That melts a lot of snow, disrupts the gulf stream. That's not a big enough increase to counteract the loss of the gulf stream.
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kestrel91316 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
8. As cold as northern Canada and Siberia. Gulf Stream keeps it
warm by bringing Caribean warm water north.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:55 AM
Response to Original message
2. Little Ice Age scenario?
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 09:57 AM by kristopher
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phantom power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. That's the scenario to watch for.
Reading a news story about giant blobs of fresh water in the arctic is not relaxing.
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:04 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. +1
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Nihil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 11:27 AM
Response to Reply #4
10. Oh bugger.
:-(
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CrispyQ Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 09:59 AM
Response to Original message
3. I read an article about changing ocean currents several years ago.
It was fascinating. Check out this great site, Ocean Motion. ;)

http://oceanmotion.org /



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patrice Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:08 AM
Response to Original message
6. Kick!
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Raschel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 10:45 AM
Response to Original message
9. bookmark
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XemaSab Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 12:18 PM
Response to Original message
11. .
:popcorn:
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NickB79 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 10:25 PM
Response to Original message
14. What effect might this have on North America?
Would it affect only coastal areas, or would even the interior of the continent cool noticably? Being in Minnesota, I'm beginning to enjoy the milder winters :)
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kristopher Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #14
15. You might get an idea by looking for an animated representation
of how the Coriolis effect acts on the atmosphere over N America. I'd imagine shutting down the Gulf Stream would lead to a colder Minnesota - if that's possible.
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TheMadMonk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Apr-08-11 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Hmmm, guessing, but Tornado Alley could possibly shut down.
If so the interior of North America would almost certainly suffer considerable desertification.

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