A slowing Gulf Stream System would put the eastern US and western Europe at risk

According to a new study, the Gulf Stream is at its weakest in 1000 years. The study published in Nature Geoscience reveals that the stream is slowing down to an unprecedented level.

The Gulf Stream is a warm and fast ocean current in the Atlantic that originates in the Gulf of Mexico and flows along the eastern US coastlines. This stream plays a major role in influencing the climate of the eastern coast of the US, New Foundland, and the east coast of Europe.

Evolution of the Gulf Stream to the west of Ireland continuing as the North Atlantic Current
Image: By RedAndr – self-made

According to the co-author Stefan Rahmstorf, a professor from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, “The Gulf Stream System works like a giant conveyor belt, carrying warm surface water from the equator up north, and sending cold, low-salinity deep water back down south.”

Researchers from Ireland, Britain, and Germany analyzed the ocean sediments and ice cores to map the Gulf Stream system’s history. According to them, the Gulf Stream has slowed by about 15 percent since the 1950s. Experts warn the current will slow down by about 34 percent by 2100, dangerously impacting the flow and the weather pattern.

So, what is the impact?

The slowing Gulf Stream System will cause the sea levels to rise to a dangerous level, flooding coastal cities and towns on the US east coast. In Western Europe, winters would be extremely cold with brutal ice storms, and summers would be scorching hot.

The results suggest that the Gulf Stream system has been relatively stable till the late 19th century and began to decline. A drastic decline started during the mid-20th century.

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Source: StudyFinds.org

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