Wednesday, December 13, 2017

How An Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

Yup, an Arctic current, that exists. In the  real world. Not computer simulation.- It’s not a “wayward” current either,  despite the Yale headline- That’s spin/lie/manipulation. Which is why I won’t use it for the post headline! The current was identified as existing, on the planet, more then 50 years ago, by Russian scientists  

I’m dumping all the spin and hyperbole to give you the facts alone- Which means I will include what is known and either omit or note the wild speculation.

How a "Wayward" (manipulative) Arctic Current Could Cool the Climate in Europe

Some sorely needed background on the Beaufort Gyre

The first confirmation of the Beaufort Gyre’s existence came in the 1950s when Soviet scientists conducted research in the region. Carmack first visited the gyre in 1971. At that point, the gyre had weakened and had set in motion the Great Salinity Anomaly.

Great Salinity Anomaly- What is that?!

A similar event, known as the Great Salinity Anomaly, occurred from the late 1960s into the 1970s, when a surge of water out of the Arctic Ocean freshened and cooled the top half-mile of parts of the North Atlantic. According to British oceanographer Robert R. Dickson, the Great Salinity Anomaly represented one of the most persistent and extreme variations in global ocean climate observed during the past century. (not AGW) The surge of ice and freshwater cooled Northern Europe dramatically and disrupted the North Atlantic food chain, which, in turn, caused a collapse of the lucrative herring fishery. Between 1951 and 2010, as many as eight of 18 exceptionally cold European winters occurred during the period of the Great Salinity Anomaly.

The Beaufort Gyre is a wind-driven circulation system that traps and pushes freshwater and ice around the Arctic Ocean.

Presently it is being reported that this Beaufort Gyre may be on the verge of discharge a huge amount of ice and icy cold freshwater... hey wait a minute I thought the Arctic was warming? Thinking about just how much ice and cold water would have to be 'discharged' to alter the climate of Europe and presumably Canada- Chilling the ocean and cooling that much land mass would require a unimaginable quantity of cold, cold, cold!

Continuing from the Yale360 article
The Beaufort Gyre, a key Arctic Ocean current, may be on the verge of discharging a huge amount of ice and cold freshwater that could kick off a period of lower temperatures in northern Europe.

Scientists are anticipating that a sudden change in the Beaufort Gyre could set in motion events that would actually lead to a temporary but significant cooling of the North Atlantic region.

During the second half of the 20th century — and, most likely, earlier — the gyre adhered to a cyclical pattern in which it would shift gears every five to seven years and temporarily spin in a counter-clockwise direction, expelling ice and freshwater into the eastern Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic.
Yes, it's a cycle- It's something that has occurred with some regularity 

 Today, the Beaufort Gyre holds as much freshwater as all of the Great Lakes combined, and its continuing clockwise swirl is preventing this enormous volume of ice and cold, fresh water from flushing into the North Atlantic Ocean. But, scientists say, the gyre will inevitably weaken and reverse direction, (because it is a cycle)  and when it does it could expel a massive amount of icy fresh water into the North Atlantic.

Not due to AGW- It's a cycle. It has occurred previously. It will occur again.

Scientists studying the current state of the Beaufort Gyre say that when the wind-driven current finally becomes “unstuck” and propels freshwater into the North Atlantic, the event could possibly be more widespread and severe than the Great Salinity Anomaly.

“We’re all waiting with bated breath to see what happens when this thing stops sucking in freshwater and finally exhales,” says Alek Petty, a post-doctoral student at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland, who is studying the gyre.

Ice breaker employed to access the gyre

The Beaufort Sea, home of the gyre, is one of the most inaccessible and inhospitable places on the planet. Studying the behavior of the gyre is a major logistical challenge. ( because of ice)But for the past 15 years, an international team of scientists from the United States, Canada, Japan, and several other countries has been conducting annual summer research expeditions into the region on icebreakers. (because it's cold, very cold) The scientists from the Beaufort Gyre Exploration Project have watched with growing interest as the gyre has continued to expand.

Below is a video of the Beaufort Gyre breaking up the sea ice- The growing Beaufort Gyre - a wind driven ocean current- could explain the some of the Arctic ice break up
Watch the time lapse ice fracturing that occurs due to the Gyre

For those on the eastern coast of Canada- think about the collapsed fisheries

 Carmack suspects that another smaller pulse of fresh Arctic water that leaked into the North Atlantic in the early 1990s — the result of the Beaufort Gyre spinning in a counter-clockwise direction — may have suppressed the recovery of the severely overharvested cod populations in Newfoundland and Labrador. That fishery has yet to rebound in any significant way.
 Which begs the question. Was it over fishing that collapsed the cod? 
Or was it the Beaufort Gyre? Or was it both?  This is the first I've ever read of a normal weather pattern playing a role in the collapse of the cod population.

Carmack, Woods Hole’s Krishfield, and others are not ruling out the possibility that the gyre will weaken or reverse direction sooner rather than later. In fact, research conducted by the expedition this summer suggests that a change may be coming. The volume of freshwater in the gyre had not increased since the previous summer’s expedition, and changes in atmospheric circulation suggested a possible shift to the cyclonic activity that might weaken the clockwise rotation of the gyre. 
 And bring freezing cold to large swathes of the planet- Affecting all living beings-


  1. I've never heard of this or the Great Salinity Anomaly. Really interesting stuff! Thanks Penny!

    1. Hey Gwen
      see my comment below- this comment was here- then it was gone- and it was sent to spam.. which makes no sense since it has no links... and it was only one comment- I got the google algorithm blues and I'm at a loss what to do--- sigh

  2. Gwen: you had a comment here, but, then it disappeared?
    Yet it doesn't show you deleting it?

    You had never heard of this gyre or the great salinity

    Is google disappearing comments now?

  3. I see you found my comment. I didn't do anything with my comment after I posted it.

    No, I've never heard of either of these things. Are these phenomena that I should have known about?

    1. Hey Gwen- your comment above went straight to spam! I just got it out of there!
      What the heck?! Is it this post only that google is spamming comments on?
      The Argentinian sub comments went through- one containing several links