Friday, August 12, 2016

Physics - Equatorial ocean currents completely stop

I've only been looking at this ocean current plot for a year or two now.  It showed why the Caribbean had that horrible Sargasso weed problem last year (the current was tied up in knots), and showed the whole El Nino process and why Callie didn't get a lot of rain.

Now I just looked at the update (once a week) and see, to my surprise, that the Atlantic current has completely gone into reverse.  There is now a gap with Gulf Stream, and we will see next week what this does.  Right now the GS is continuing with momentum only.

It is my hypothesis that our ice ages come because of such current fluctuations.  If the GS were to stop completely, then Britain would freeze.  For Canada to freeze, we would need a full stop of the Japan current, but you can also see in the video that something funny is happening there, too.

But a full ice age only comes every 10,000 years, and that's because of isostatic motions of the crust.  Between, we get all sorts of fluctuations from extremely hot to extremely cold, but the ice can't catch.

Anyway, there are no 'earth shaking' consequences here, but it is interesting.


ps.  if the GS were to actually stop, this how I would expect it to develop.  Instead of one large current, it would divide up into small loops.  I can't wait for next week, it either restarts or it doesn't.  If it doesn't the UK is in for shock, and perhaps cold for us too.

2 comments:

Victoria Lemay said...

This is so fascinating, What would happen if the currents stop? Doesn't that have something to do with the moon gravity?

Harold Asmis said...

The currents stop and start on their own. It is the nature of chaotic motion. If the Gulf Stream stops or weakens, then it gets very cold for those countries like UK, Iceland, etc. This happened before a couple of hundred years ago. Froze the Vikings out of Greenland.