Gulf Stream is not slowing...
The Gulf Stream is behaving normally....
A major study is throwing cold water on the idea that global warming is already slowing down the Gulf Stream, which supplies much of western Europe's warmth.
That's the idea behind Hollywood's disaster movie on global warming, The Day After Tomorrow: The Gulf Stream suddenly stops flowing and everything freezes.
Some preliminary observations have hinted that global warming has already begun to slow down the Gulf Stream. And even conservative scientists warn that within 50 to 100 years, the Gulf Stream is likely to slow by some 20 per cent, or possibly more.
But there's no evidence this is happening yet, says the study released today in a major international research journal, Science. It says the decreases reported so far in the warm ocean current are consistent with natural, normal variations in the Atlantic Ocean - not pollution caused by humans.
The giant ocean current, in fact, delivers more than eight times more water at some times than at others - a vast difference that has been there, unnoticed, all along.
When it's in slow gear, the Gulf Stream carries four-million cubic metres of warm water every second, northeast from the Florida Strait to Europe. But its maximum flow is 34.9-million cubic metres per second.
The news this ocean current has such big natural swings has the potential to raise a political ruckus in the climate field.