Special Post - Gulf Stream & North Atlantic Current Dying
Updated 9 August 2010
Our planet is experiencing a real life version of the movie "The Day After Tomorrow" right now. Record breaking heat (up to 39-40C or 100-104F in Moscow) and drought in Russia, heat and flooding in large parts of Asia (China, Pakistan, etc.), and killing cold temperatures in South America are all reflective of a rapidly changing global weather pattern that is caused by dramatic changes in the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current (also called the North Atlantic Drift) and the Norway Current/etc. brought on by the large amounts of oil discharged into the Gulf of Mexico by the BP Oil Disaster.
An Italian theoretical physicist, Dr. Gianluigi Zangari, of the prestigious Research Division of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics at Frascati National Laboratories (LNF) of the National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) in Italy, has come up with some startling scientific findings. Dr. Zangari has specialized in global climate research and analysis. He has found that the massive amount of oil in the Gulf of Mexico, from the BP Oil Disaster, has caused a disruption of the Loop Current in the Gulf. And further, that this has resulted in a dramatic weakening in the vorticity of the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current, and a reduction in North Atlantic water temperatures of 10C.
It is a university level physics experiment to use a tub of cool water and inject a colored stream of warm water into it. You can see the boundary layers of the warm water stream. If you add oil to the tub it breaks down the boundary layers of the warm water stream and effectively destroys the current vorticity . This is what is happening in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic Ocean.
The entire 'river of warm water' that flows from the Caribbean to the edges of Western Europe is dying due to the Corexit that the Obama Administration allowed BP to use to hide the scale of the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Disaster. The approximately two million gallons of Corexit, plus several million gallons of other dispersants, have caused the over two hundred million gallons of crude oil, that has gushed for months from the BP wellhead and nearby sites, to mostly sink to the bottom of the ocean. This has helped to effectively hide much of the oil, with the hopes that BP can seriously reduce the mandated federal fines from the oil disaster. However, there is no current way to effectively 'clean up' the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, which is about half covered in crude oil. Additionally, the oil has flowed up the East Coast of America and into the North Atlantic Ocean, and there is no way to effectively clean up this 'sea bottom oil'.
This massive amount of crude oil, covering such an enormous area, has seriously affected the Loop Current, the Gulf Stream, and the North Atlantic Current system, by breaking up the boundary layers of the warm water flow.
There are several names to the themoregulation 'river of warm water' that keeps the Northern Hemisphere from going into a new Ice Age. The first section is named the "Loop Current" and it begins in the Caribbean, flows around the Yucatan Peninsula and goes into the Gulf of Mexico, then loops around the Gulf and exits on the east side and runs between Cuba and Florida. At this point the current is called the "Florida Current" and it flows from the Keys up the East Coast of America (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and part of North Carolina) to the Outer Banks. At the Outer Banks the current heads east into the North Atlantic where it is known as the "Gulf Stream". Eventually the Gulf Stream becomes the North Atlantic Current, which itself eventually becomes the Norway Current and the Canary Current. The reason that this system has several names, and not one, is historical. It was not all discovered at the same time and the flow was not fully known or understood for years. Ben Franklin, one of my favorite American 'founding fathers' is the person that named one section of this system the "Gulf Stream" in the 1760s. It should be noted that this 'river of warm water' does not begin with the Loop Current, it is part of a much larger system that includes the Atlantic South Equatorial Current which flows north along the coast of Brazil (the North Brazil Current), and becomes the Caribbean Current, and is renamed the Yucatan Current as it flows north into the Yucatan Channel. This entire system is one of the main global themoregulation processes that regulates the planet's temperatures.
The Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Current and Norway Current (the northern end of the North Atlantic Current) influence the atmosphere globally. One immediate effect is that on the Jet Stream. It is this effect that is causing the heat/drought in Russia and the flooding in large parts of Asia. Additionally, in a tropical storm season that was predicted to be one of the worst in years, due to the effect of the dying Gulf Stream, it has become one of the quietest tropical storm seasons in the Atlantic in decades.
Based on what has already happened (to the Loop Current and the Gulf Stream/North Atlantic Current/etc. and global weather patterns), and what is continuing to happen, we can project increased global climate changes that are both serious and near in terms of time. We may be entering a full new Ice Age.
There is no known way to clean up the massive amount of free crude oil, stripped of its lighter elements by dispersants, now on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and in significant parts of the Atlantic Ocean (where the Gulf Stream flows). The use of Corexit and other dispersants by BP, with the full cooperation of the Obama Administration has created the most significant danger to the entire planet in recorded history. This is what happens when a great nation slips into being a Third World type of nation, where money alone is the key driving force in government actions.
As full knowledge of the scope of the oncoming mega-disaster to the planet becomes known, the Obama Administration will find itself in a political crisis way beyond Watergate (that cost Nixon his presidency) or the sex affair that almost cost Clinton his presidency. The effect on this years mid-term Congressional elections are apt to be dramatic.
The thermohaline circulation is sometimes called the ocean conveyor belt, the great ocean conveyor, or the global conveyor belt.
This is the Florida Current and Gulf Stream in a heat image.
The above and below images show how the Loop Current normally works.
Hurricane Katrina encountering the Gulf Loop Current and Eddy Vortex.
Temperature Comparison - August 2, 2009 / August2,2010 (Article Updated on August 2, 2010)
Temperature Comparison - July 20, 2009 / July 29, 2010
Acknowledgments: Frascati National Laboratories, NOAA and Rutgers University. Analysis by Dr. Gianluigi Zangari (Frascati Labs), July 29, 2010.
From Dr. Zangari:
The Gulf Stream importance in the global climate themoregulation processes is well assessed. The latest real time satellite (Jason, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat Follow-On, ERS-2, Envisat) data maps of May-June 2010 processed by CCAR (Dolorado Center for Astrodynamics Research), checked at Frascati Laboratories by the means of the SHT congruent calculus and compared with past years data, show for the first time a direct evidence of the rapid breaking of the Loop Current, a warm ocean current, crucial part of the Gulf Stream. As displayed by both by the sea surface maps and the sea surface height maps, the Loop Current broke down for the first time around May 18th and generated a clock wise eddy, which is still active. As of today the situation has deteriorated up to the point in which the eddy has detached itself completely from the main stream therefore destroying completely the Loop Current.
Since comparative analysis with past satellite data until May 2010 didn't show relevant anomalies, it might be therefore plausible to correlate the breaking of the Loop Current with the biochemical and physical action of the BP Oil Spill on the Gulf Stream.
It is reasonable to foresee the threat that the breaking of a crucial warm stream as the Loop Current may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable critical phenomena and instabilities due to strong non linearities which may have serious consequences on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream thermoregulation activity of the Global Climate.
The Gulf Stream leaves its signature over seven miles high ~ link ~ The Gulf Stream’s impact on climate is well known, keeping Iceland and Scotland comfortable in winter compared to the deep-freeze of Labrador at the same latitude. That cyclones tend to spawn over the Gulf Stream has also been known for some time. A new study reveals that the Gulf Stream anchors a precipitation band with upward motions and cloud formations that can reach 7 miles high and penetrate the upper troposphere. The discovery, announced by a Japan–US team of scientists, shows that the Gulf Stream has a pathway by which to directly affect weather and climate patterns over the whole Northern Hemisphere, and perhaps even world wide.
Xie has been curious for some time about the response of the atmosphere to warm currents flowing within cold ocean water, such as the Gulf Stream or its Pacific counterpart, the Kuroshio. Xie says, “It has been a challenging task to isolate the climatic influence of the Gulf Stream from energetic weather variations by using conventional observations, which are spatially and temporally sporadic. Our findings were only possible because of the availability of high-resolution satellite data, an operational weather analysis, and an atmospheric circulation model.”
The first hint that these warm ocean currents have a significant effect on the atmosphere came from high-resolution NASA satellite data. These images show a narrow rain band hovering frequently over the warm flank of the currents; wind accelerates and converges over the warm flank and diverges and decelerates on the cold flank.
The findings from the operational weather analysis pointed to the warm flank of the Gulf Stream as the cause of the strong upward winds. “We wanted more evidence, though,” says team member Akira Kuwano-Yoshida of the Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), “and turned to the high-resolution Atmospheric Model for the Earth Simulator (AGCM) at JAMSTEC. We drove the model first with the actual Gulf Stream temperatures. The model successfully captured the rain band and the signature in the upper troposphere. Then we removed the sharp sea surface gradient from the Gulf Stream front by smoothing the temperature in the model. The narrow rain band disappeared.”
Finally, the team used outgoing longwave radiation satellite data to measure the cloud top temperatures. The narrow cloud band, associated with lightning, extends 7 miles high above the Gulf Stream meanders and has temperatures below freezing. All this is further evidence that the Gulf Stream influence on the atmosphere extends far above the lower atmosphere.
The Gulf Stream’s strength has changed markedly in the past as Earth has switched between warm periods and ice ages. Closely linked to these changes have been climate changes around the globe—not only in the Atlantic, but also in the Pacific and even in the Southern Hemisphere. Scientists have been puzzled at how the changes in the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (the conveyor belt) lead to climate anomalies in other regions in the Northern Hemisphere. The new study discovers a direct pathway, the Gulf Stream’s deep heating of the atmosphere. This heating generates planetary waves that can induce quite rapid changes in Earth’s atmospheric circulation and alter climate over Europe and beyond by riding on the westerly jet stream in the upper troposphere.
Journal reference: Minobe, S., A. Kuwano-Yoshida, N. Komori, S.-P. Xie, and R.J. Small, 2008: Influence of the Gulf Stream on the troposphere. Nature. March 13, 2008.
Cumulonimbus storm cloud forming over the warm Gulf Stream along the Norwegian coast. The system is sometimes called a polar low.
A Climate-Change Amplifying Mechanism
ScienceDaily (Mar. 8, 2007) — During the past ninety thousand years there were alternating hot and cold periods lasting several thousand years each which resulted in a modification of global oceanic circulation. With the help of paleoclimatic and paleooceanographic indicators, scientists at CEREGE1 have highlighted a feedback mechanism of ocean circulation on the climate which reinforces this heating or cooling. This mechanism relies on a close link between the circulation of the North Atlantic and the tropical hydrology of Central America. This study, published in the February 22, 2007 edition of the review Nature, should allow us to better understand and therefore better predict the effects of climate change on oceanic circulation.
In the past, major and rapid climatic variations which took place notably during the last glacial period (Heinrich period) disturbed ocean circulation. Climatic archives (marine and lake sediment, polar ice, stalagmites) show the close relationship existing between climatic variations and oceanic circulation. Changes in oceanic circulation in the North Atlantic have influence on a planetary level by affecting, in particular, the water cycle. These changes are accompanied by a shift in the climatic equator which separates the trade wind systems of the two hemispheres: southwards during cold events and northwards during hot ones.
Central America, a narrow continental strip which separates the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, plays a key role in this system. On the Atlantic side surface waters evaporate, which increases salinity. The water vapour is transferred by the trade winds to the Pacific where it is deposited as rain, thus lowering salinity there. This enormous transfer of water (several hundred thousand cubic meters per second) maintains a contrast in salinity between the two oceans. The surface waters of the tropical Atlantic are then transported, via the Gulf Stream, towards the high latitudes where they warm the atmosphere before plunging into the abysses in the convection zones situated in the seas of Norway, Greenland and Labrador. The deep waters formed by this process then flow into the world ocean, purging the North Atlantic of part of its excess salt. ~ link to this article
Ice melt during July was the slowest in the JAXA record.