Tol on Gulf Stream slowdown: “Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming…”

Watts Up With That?

Gulf Stream slowdown to spare Europe from worst of climate change

global_thermohaline

From the UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX and Dr. Richard Tol.

Europe will be spared the worst economic impacts of climate change by a slowing down of the Gulf Stream, new research predicts.

Scientists have long suggested that global warming could lead to a slowdown – or even shutdown – of the vast system of ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream, that keeps Europe warm.

Known as the Thermohaline Circulation, this system operates like a conveyor belt, transporting warm water from the tropics to Europe, where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks.

As the world warms, melting icecaps and increased rainfall are widely predicted to slow this process down by flooding oceans with cold freshwater.

Some experts even fear that the process could shut down altogether, plunging Europe into a new ice age.

However, a new study…

View original post 202 more words

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