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Record Cold 'Blob' in North Atlantic: Sign of Future Climate Woes?


Record Cold 'Blob' in North Atlantic: Sign of Future Climate Woes?

Sarah Lazare, staff writer

Some scientists are saying that a record-setting area of cold water in the North Atlantic, revealed by recent National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) data, could be a sign that climate change is causing the ocean current to weaken.

This trend could have dramatic consequences, including the alteration of temperatures on the European and North American continents.


Oh, no, no, no! What right-wingers and their ilk will claim is that this cold blob is just the beginning of the global cooling they insist is the real pattern of climate change. The irony is that this phenomenon has the potential to actually cool parts of Europe that have enjoyed the warmer, more moist weather enabled by the effect of the Gulfstream carrying warmer air across the North Atlantic. Just look at the latitude of England and most of Europe and then imagine the changes to their climate if that ocean "conveyor belt" slows down even more. Meanwhile the Greenland ice fields are melting even faster and it has been predicted that we could see an ice free summer Arctic in 5 years or less.


This is what is known as the north atlantic "pump". Should this pump fail, the currents stop: Period. The atlantic ocean will stop circulating. I think I remember from past readings there were 7 pumps active in the 1970's and in the early 2000's we were down to 1, maybe 2. Seems that it was 1 and now, none? A stand still atlantic current will change the weather, everywhere.


Yep, game over...where to go?...I haven't a clue...I am old, disabled with no money, so for me I guess it's a stay-cation. My kids? Kids w/babies? The interior of South America? Maybe? Africa will be a waste land because of the coming drought from the current El Nino. I'm in AZ and we have been storing water below ground for the last 50/60 years but it will be so damn hot here that the night time will become the only time to step outside and with a fragile electric grid??? Caves? Back to throwing rocks and wearing skins, probably.


Yea, humans! USA! USA! USA! When we puny humans "fool" with Mother Nature we can be made to see in a very short time-frame just how relative things are. Ocean currents, jet stream, the Amazon, that great engine of weather stability - all are no longer in the patterns we came to rely on - the Amazon decimated to grow beef for McDonalds and palm oil. Now we will see who is playing with the strongest team.........I can guarantee it will not be the god of technology that many think will fix everything....or Jesus.

"you have to go back to another time... when the world was powered by the black fuel... and the desert sprouted great cities of pipe and steel. Gone now... swept away. For reasons long forgotten, two mighty warrior tribes went to war, and touched off a blaze which engulfed them all. Without fuel they were nothing. They'd built a house of straw. The thundering machines sputtered and stopped. Their leaders talked and talked and talked. But nothing could stem the avalanche. Their world crumbled." - Poxyclipse......


Your second paragraph speaks of Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth...maybe someday in 2150? there will be a story told around camp fires late at night that sound like your paragraph, if you turn it into a poem and sing it, it will be carried forward


ya know Owsley Stanley showed up at Phil Lesh's house in 1994 with a bunch of information; graphs, maps, NASA stuff, and pretty much said if you want to live you will have to leave the Northern Hemisphere due to an imminent ice age. I read this quite a few years back and it has stayed with me. I'm sure it is documented somewhere. Owsley moved to Australia not long after his prediction. Unfortunately, he was killed in a car wreck a few years back. I'll try to find the article and post it later. KLB


It isn't that it isn't a big deal because it is but it isn't as big a deal as people think it will be. The Gulf Stream drift has already slowed some 30%. It might even slow further but the result of that will not make as much of a difference as many people think.

The gulf stream will not stop completely in any case (please recognize that the Gulf Stream originates in the tropics, passes through the Caribbean and the Gulf all without benefit of the cold water/salinity differential which many seem to think 'powers' the current. When the warm Gulf water reaches the north, the temperature/salinity differential does power the flow (as if pulling it) northwards with most heading off into the North Sea. That would change but mainly in that the warm Gulf Stream Drift would stay further to the south and be dissipated in the North Atlantic Gyre.

Yes Europe would lose at least some temperate climate modifiers as a result of a cooler North Atlantic and North Sea but a dramatic cooling would not happen. Think of the North Sea being more like the Gulf of Bothnia between Sweden and Finland/Russia. Cold but not ice age cold. This cooling would translate as a few extra days of snow and that would mainly be in countries like Iceland, Ireland, Britain and Norway. They would hardly notice the difference.

Part of the reason for that lack of dramatic change is that the oceans are warming. The Arctic is warming. The melting of the Polar Ice Cap has little to do with the influence of the Gulf Stream. The warming will continue. The blob is because so much ice is melting adding all this extra fresh (lower salinity) and cold water. It refreezes. The Gulf Stream may stop flowing up in the far north but it will continue further south although that will not have much effect (what will happen to Africa is a question but it is possible that it might bring more humid weather to west Africa).

Northern North America will not - absolutely NOT be covered in ice like the last Ice Age. Neither will Europe. It may even be a semi-blessing in disguise because a drop of a few degrees in temperature may help Europe combat the worst of a global warming world by helping them avoid drought etc.

There will NOT be a Big Finale because the Gulf Stream Drift slows or even stops flowing into the North Sea. Certainly Scotland and Norway might get chillier but not so much that anyone would take much notice of it.


Looking at the provided map, shouldn't we be worrying more about the huge record warm "blobs" covering much of the earth except that bit of the N. Atlantic?


You betcha', we should. That little cool spot happens every summer when the Polar Ice Cap melts and the ice melt flushes into Baffin Bay and out into the North Atlantic. It is larger now because Greenland is sloughing off so much more melt water.

The oceans are still warming and will continue to do so. I checked out the sources cited in the article (Mooney) and there seems to be some confusion about what is happening based on what Mr. Mooney wrote. I think he misunderstood the responses to his e-mails from the scientists that he quotes.

Mooney seems to have misunderstood when the scientist wrote that the waters to the right of the current (cooler) are lower than the warm waters (higher) of the current and wrote it as if saying the waters on the right side of the Atlantic were cooler (lower) and the waters on the east side of the Atlantic were warmer (higher). Thus Mooney assumes for some reason that a stoppage of the current in the far north would result in higher sea levels on the eastern side. I think he got confused. The water immediately to the right of the current is cooler. I don't think the scientist was talking about the other side of the Atlantic. However the current is warmer and sea levels on the east coast are higher due to the current's warmth. The cool currents off Africa's coasts (why it doesn't get rain because the rain hits the cool water and falls before it reaches land) have a corresponding effect in reverse.

Sea levels off the east coast of North America are already higher (and warmer) because warm water takes up more volume. The cool spot would not signify a further rise in sea level, he got that part all mixed up. It is already happening. In any case, the hollywood big finale won't happen. No ice age ... although in a decade or two, we sure might wish for one.

Heat baby! Heat!


Spot on, seeing how the southernmost points in Europe (Gibralter and Crete) are at the same latitude as northern California with most of Europe being in the same latitude as Montana and Canada. The warm Atlantic currents are the only reason that London, Paris and Munich don't have Winnepeg weather


Yeeeee Ha!. Ah'm gunna go to Hollywood and make a movie with John Wayne about how the Gulf Stream stopped and northern USA froze and how John Wayne saved civilisation from a mad scientist cloning sabre toothed tigers and flesh-eating mastodons trying to grab Madonna for illicit purposes as the Empire State building vanished under the ice-cap....................

Oh; it's sorta been done already?


There seems to be rather little that is "average".


The key to survival was our stone age technology and few numbers. How does a modern civilisation survive an ice age without the trains running late?


Yes, as in the past we'll go to the USA, which will accept we huddled masses........


The great southwest basin from Wyoming to Texas is almost empty, we've sucked all the water out, instead of doing dry-dirt-farming...Native American legends, Hopi, speak of The Ant people that came back above ground after the last polar flip. It's been done before, read the book "Book of The Hopi" by Frank Waters. Their legends, myths and tribal knowledge is backed by science facts, truly...their myth that the Hopi have survived 4 polar flips is documented in the oceans floor, sea plates by testing the magnetism of the faults, which show 4 changes of magnetic directions.

Just a tid-bit, a way of saying thanks for the compliment.


Could this trigger a new Younger Dryas?

Do TPTB already know this? Is this an explanation for their irresponsible behavior? Probably just regular old greed?



The Gulf Stream would not stop completely except in the Northernmost portion (where this cool water blob is located). It would continue to flow but further south (although slower and less forcefully). The process may affect the Pacific over a span of centuries but the spin of the Earth would continue to create the global circulatory system that links our oceans.

No Ice Ages in any case (in fact the reverse happened where the Gulf Stream was probably more intense as North America had far more glaciation than did Europe and Asia.) .

Long before any underground scenarios are attempted, the powers and politicians will try geoengineering schemes and good luck when they do.

Don't mess with Mother Nature is exponential. If you mess with her a little you get a slap but if you mess with her a lot you get your ass kicked.


It's not really about the weather. If the ocean circulation stops, the ocean becomes anoxic and dies. Peter Ward is good on this, Under a Green Sky.


I cannot take any credit for the paragraph you reference, it is from George Miller's early Mad Max, but the sentiment spoken of the abject failure of world leaders (with very rare exceptions) to build (or even speak of) a sustainable healthy world is what we face today. Joseph Campbell's "Power of Myth" is, indeed, powerful stuff, and his counterpart in the interviews, Bill Moyers, is a national treasure - would our "leaders" have one tenth the wisdom they speak.

"Growth" and "development" touted by the vulture capitalists and charlatan politician whores is what they build - their house of straw - a world being torn apart by greed and self-interest - profits above all else, exept war and racism - with the lowest common denominator the goal. Exploitation to extinction, poisoning the planet for a buck, and the war-machine(s) are holy, with Mother Earth repeatedly raped........and there is little light at the end of the tunnel, or leaders with the wisdom or integrity to do anything but talk and talk and talk and do little but be complicit and empower the madness.

Campbell mentions Cheif Seattle in his talks and reverence for the Earth - Gaia. This quote is inspired by the Chief but written by Ted Perry - I think it says a lot.

"If all the beasts were gone, we would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast, soon happens to us. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the children of Earth. Man did not create the web of life - he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself"