I’ve sort of gotten away from environmental and energy news posts over the summer, but now that fall is starting and General Convention has come and gone, it’s time to get back to them.
The BBC is reporting on some new research that is indicating that the melting of northern polar cap due to global warming is having an effect on the salinity of the water in the northern Atlantic.
“Shrinking ice sheets and melting glaciers are partly responsible for the freshening effect, a review in the journal Science has confirmed.
If salinity levels continue to drop, dramatic changes to the North Atlantic currents could occur.”
The problem is that fresh water is less dense than salt water and shooting a huge slug of cold fresh water into to the northern Atlantic might well cause an interruption to the northern branch of the Gulf stream current. (The current which is responsible for keeping places like Scotland (which is north of the Arctic Circle in some parts) much more temperate than Alaska.)
Should the current “shut off”, the ensuing cold spell in Northern Europe is going to radically change its economy as well as its climate. Such an event would also require more energy be shipped to the region for heating than is now needed which would further tax already brittle supplies of fossil fuels.
It’s definitely worth keeping an eye on…
Read the rest here: BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Melting ice dilutes northern seas