The answer may be simple, and it’s definitely sad. The cold spot in the Atlantic is likely a symptom of a problem climate scientists have been fearing for years. Record cold temps in this condensed area of the ocean suggests that the circulation of water currents in the Atlantic is slowing. Warm and cold water should be mixing to normalize water temperatures, but the currents are functioning the way they need to. They rely on differences in temperature and salinity, which basically means that cold salty water in the North Atlantic sinks (it’s really dense) and warmer southern waters move northward to take its place. When a large influx of cold, fresh water is introduced to the picture, the system goes haywire and the water circulation patterns are weakened because the sinking doesn’t occur. And where is the fresh water coming from? The melting glaciers, of course. If the trend continues, it could mean rising sea levels along the East Coast and a change in temperature for Europe and North America.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
A curious cold spot in the Atlantic has scientists thinking their worst fears have come true.