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The Gulf Stream


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How will the Gulf Stream be affected by climate change? Will it break down from to too much fresh water being released into the oceans (due to melting glaciers and a few other minor sources)? What will happen if it breaks down?

Anyone got any ideas, sources or other info about this subject?

Wikipedia says this about the Gulf Stream:

"The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, exits through the Strait of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. The process of western intensification causes the Gulf Stream to be a northward accelerating current offshore the east coast of North America. At about 30°W, 40°N, it splits in two, with the northern stream crossing to northern Europe and the southern stream recirculating off West Africa. The Gulf Stream influences the climate of the east coast of North America from Florida to Newfoundland, and the west coast of Europe. Although there has been recent debate, there is consensus that the climate of Western Europe and Northern Europe is warmer than it would otherwise be; and that this is due to the North Atlantic drift, one of the branches from the tail of the Gulf Stream."

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This is shortly how I have interpreted it:

Like with all ice ages the effects will be a colder north and a warmer south. But due to man-made climate change the effects wont be exactly what you might think they would be. In the northern areas of Europe, Russia, Canada etc the temperature will only decrease a few degrees for a decade or two (still enough to create fierce winter storms) and then go back to "normal" levels again. So the northern parts are receiving a cold shower kind-of-way while the southern parts of the world will get a much tougher time. They will face even more extreme droughts and even higher temperature increases (+ the increases due to global warming).

Any thoughts?

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