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Too Much Water?
By Ernest Stewart
"The slowdown in ocean currents will result in sea level rise in cities like New York and Boston, and temperature changes on both sides of the Atlantic." ~~~ Michael Mann ~ professor and the director of the Earth System Science Center at Penn State University.
Sure, the Mississippi is prone to flooding every now and again as the many levees along it's entire length can testify to; but its flooding is generally in early spring, not early winter! The fact that we've just had the warmest December on record might have something to do with that; do you suppose?
Meanwhile, inside the Arctic Circle, where this time of year you might expect temperatures of 50 below zero fahrenheit, instead, this week, they got temperatures of more the 50 degrees above zero, i.e., over 100 degrees difference! Some of us are sure to feel that Polar Vortex as a result as the warm air pushes the cold air out and its got to go somewhere! I hope it's heading for Greenland, don't you? Meanwhile out in LA, what they are calling 'The Godzilla El Nino,' the strongest El Nino on record, is drowning in rain and a sea of mud everything from LA all the way north to San Francisco, and beyond! For example, the LA River, which is dry as a bone 99% of the time, is now above-flood stage!
A major concern is what is happening to the Gulf Stream because of global warming; the Gulf Stream, or, as scientist call it the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation or AMOC has been steadily slowing down for the last couple of decades as Greenland is shedding its glaciers. This cold melt water is beginning to slow down the effects of the Gulf Stream as it dilutes the salt content. These effects are what keeps most of Northern Europe a whole lot warmer than they'd be without it. Consider that southern England's latitude lies above Lake Superior and would have similar conditions without the Gulf Stream. On this side of the Atlantic, the ocean is 5 inches higher than it used to be, just a decade before. Get the picture?
Good. Then consider that the Gulf Stream is just one small part of a system that moves water worldwide: did I mention that it too is slowing down? As NOAA - National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says:
"Thermohaline circulation or THC" (no, another kind!) "is a part of the large-scale ocean circulation that is driven by global density gradients created by surface heat and freshwater fluxes. The adjective thermohaline derives from thermo, referring to temperature and haline referring to salt content, factors which together determine the density of seawater. Wind-driven surface currents (such as the Gulf Stream) travel polewards from the equatorial Atlantic Ocean, cooling en route, and eventually sinking at high latitudes (forming North Atlantic Deep Water). This dense water then flows into the ocean basins. While the bulk of it upwells in the Southern Ocean, the oldest waters (with a transit time of around 1000 years) upwell in the North Pacific. Extensive mixing therefore takes place between the ocean basins, reducing differences between them and making the Earth's oceans a global system. On their journey, the water masses transport both energy (in the form of heat) and matter (solids, dissolved substances and gases) around the globe. As such, the state of the circulation has a large impact on the climate of the Earth."And with the failure of the Gulf Stream, the rest of the system may fail, too! So you corpo-rat types and your Sheeple followers can ignore Global Warming and pretend it doesn't exist: but you will do so at your own peril!
02-0 6-1950 ~ 12-31-2015
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06-04-1934 ~ 01-04-2016
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Until the next time, Peace!
(c) 2016 Ernest Stewart a.k.a. Uncle Ernie is an unabashed radical, author, stand-up comic, DJ, actor, political pundit and for 13 years was the managing editor and publisher of Issues & Alibis magazine. Visit me on Facebook. Follow me on Twitter.