Gulf stream might shut down

Uh oh.

Not exactly news, Jason–I’ve been reading about this possibility for over a decade–but yeah, it would be a big, big uh oh.

Now is the “ice age” part a bit of an exaggeration? I had heard something like a 5 degree drop, maybe it was 10 degreees.

“When the Gulf Stream abruptly turned off about 12,700 years ago, it brought about a 1,300-year cold period, known as the Younger Dryas. This froze Britain in continuous permafrost, drove summer temperatures down to 10C and winter ones to -20C, and brought icebergs as far south as Portugal.”

Sounds like a localized Ice Age to me.

I’m not sure what the article says, because I don’t really want to pay to read a 650-word article. The headline isn’t exactly new news, though it’s also not just an issue of global warming. The problem is that Northern Europe isn’t supposed ot be as warm as it is. It didn’t used to be, and the only reason it is now is because of an anomaly in the currents in the North Atlantic–one that is likely to go away eventually, global warming or no.

Wow… and to think the Brits were terrified of the commies for all those years. Looks like they have better things to worry about.

It’s karma for their Imperialism.

They do. It is a big deal. Even a smaller drop in temperature–a 5 degree drop, as awdougherty suggested, would be a pretty big deal. I guess the problem is that I’m not sure what they can do about it.

Move to Spain?

Here’s a link to a non-pay version of the story, courtesy of the mighty Google:

Its fairly simple if you look at a map. London is on about the same latitide as Hudson Bay…Eskimo country. Without the gulf stream to moderate temperatures most of northern europe would have a climate similar to northern Canada. Even Spain and Italy are on the latitude of NYC…not exactly the “mediterranean climate” we envy so much.

Move to Spain?[/quote]

No, India.


Actually, this book is a very fun read about an ice age coming to Britain in early 19th century due to meteor strikes, so Disraeli moves a good chunk of the English population to India. The events in the book occur a few decades later.

Of course, they wouldn’t be able to do that today…

If the Gulf Stream shuts down, Northern Europe is fucked.

I am eagerly awaiting renewed glaciers here at the foothills of the Alps…

Everyone rev your Hummer while waiting at red lights. Problem solved!

This is too wacky to be suddenly discovered, so it’s nonsense, but it would probably make a better movie than the one the Godzilla guy is doing.

It’s not a sudden discovery; I know I’ve been hearing about it for years. I think they just found new evidence.

That’s correct. An article about it pops up every few months. It’s inevitable that the current stops eventually–proof of previous stopages is clear cut–and signs indicating an imminent shutdown is possible do exist. Nothing about our world’s geology or climate is an immutable constant, though we try to treat them both that way.

What, we’re just supposed to throw up our hands and let Britian freeze?

No, he’s just saying that it’s likely to happen eventually, no matter what we do about it. I mean, it’s not really a matter of “letting Britain freeze.” Just because you recognize a threat, that doesn’t mean that you have the means to neutralize it.