Gulf Coast Hurricane Tracker

A single source reference on tropical weather predictions. With a traditional focus on the upper Texas and Louisiana Gulf Coast we've maintained links to track all Atlantic Basin, Caribbean and eastern Pacific storm systems. We are now expanding our view to tropical storms throughout the world intending to be a comprehensive global storm tracking resource.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

The Gulf Stream's effect on Europe's climate

This is a very interesting essay on the effect of the Gulf Stream on Northern Europe's environment. Sometime last fall, a number of articles were published describing how the North Atlantic Conveyor was slowing down and how the loss of the Gulf Stream would plunge Europe into an Ice Age. The premise was that the addition of copious amounts of fresh water from the melting Greenland ice cap would dilute the Gulf Stream resulting in a shutdown of the circulation and that such a shutdown would eliminate the temperate winters that England and northern Europe experience.

The author here explains that a more likely cause for the tempered European climate is due to wind, not water. He compares the climate in Europe to the climate in the US Pacific Northwest. Both places have fairly mild winters and temperate climates yet the circulation in the Pacific does not compare to the flow of the Gulf Stream. As a matter of fact, the Pacific Ocean along the US west coat is known for being very cold year round. The circulation of the Pacific can be shown to actually bring its heat all the way up to Siberia yet Eastern Russia is extremely cold. The explanation of winds and the climate regulating mechanism really explains a lot.

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