Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Gulf Stream is weakening

Measurements of ocean currents in the North Atlantic reveal that they have weakened by about 30 per cent since 1992.

The findings, published in the journal Nature, fit computer predictions of what would happen when Greenland glaciers begin to melt because of global warming.

The models suggest that extra freshwater released into the North Atlantic could weaken ocean currents and even shut down the Gulf Stream.

The Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research has calculated that if the current stopped, temperatures in northern Europe could drop by up to six degrees centigrade in 20 years.

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