An unusually strong anomaly has recently formed in the Gulf Stream. Weather in the United States and Europe is highly dependent on this ocean current, so it is important that we understand the enormous significance of this severe anomaly.
The oceans play a decisive role in the weather and climate of the world, so scientists take every unusual anomaly seriously – an anomaly in the Gulf Stream is a sign of something much larger, global changes.
The Gulf Stream is a strong ocean current that carries warmer water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends to the east coast of the United States, from where it begins to turn towards northwestern Europe.
This strong current of warm water affects the climate of the United States, especially Florida, maintaining warmer temperatures in winter and cooler in summer than other southeastern states.
Since the Gulf Stream also stretches towards Europe, it helps to warm the countries of Western Europe, having a great influence on the regional climate.
An anomaly is something that deviates from the standard, normal, or expected at a particular time or place.
In the oceans, this is a temperature anomaly. The image below shows the analysis of the anomalies in the North Atlantic, where the Gulf Stream region really stands out. We see that the flow is warmer than usual, and in some northern parts it is even 6-8 ° C above normal.
This is a serious anomaly, and water temperatures 6-8 degrees above normal could provide much more available energy for the region’s weather systems.
Actual temperatures range from 14 to 18 degrees Celsius, which is closest to the northeastern coast of the United States.
This could be a significant source of warmer air mass rising against the icy Arctic air mass from the north or northwest.
This is a common recipe for severe storms from the North East in the northeastern United States, where the Gulf Stream provides a lot of storm energy.
Strong anomalies in the Gulf Stream have been observed in the past two months. In January 2021, the anomaly became even stronger, spreading over a wide area and with an even greater deviation from the long-term average.
But the anomaly also reaches depth. Temperature anomalies are recorded at a depth of 100 and 500 meters.
Global Ocean Water Circulation System (AMOC) – Cold, dense water flows slowly southward, several kilometers below the ocean surface. Eventually, it returns to the surface and heats up in a process called upwelling, and the circulation ends.
The reason this is important is because AMOC is an integral part of the weather and climate in the Northern Hemisphere. It carries a lot of warmer water and energy to the north.
AMOC is a system of ocean currents that spans the North and South Atlantic.
Due to this anomaly, which has continued to grow over the past two months, there are fears that AMOC may stop at some point, turning the film “The Day After Tomorrow” into reality. In this famous film, AMOC stopped, which marked the beginning of a new ice age.
Right now AMOC is really losing power
There are several reasons for the weakening of AMOC. The most frequently cited, or most likely, is the entry of fresh water into the North Atlantic from melting sea ice in Greenland and the Arctic.
Fresh water reduces the salinity of the North Atlantic, which means the water is not dense enough (heavy) to sink. This slows down the sinking of surface waters, effectively slowing down the ocean current, like a plug.
This is what was shown correctly in The Day After Tomorrow
A lot of simulations have been done to try to figure out what happens if the AMOC goes down completely.
Climate change will occur with very different pressure patterns and less rainfall over Europe. Winters will become more severe in Europe and the United States.
Of course, this is not something that will happen overnight, as these changes can take decades. But we know that AMOC is declining, and judging by the amount of fresh water caused by the melting ice, we may see some climatic effects throughout our lifetime.
But what can happen almost overnight are violent storms and hurricanes. Both the Gulf Stream and AMOC play an important role in these events, especially for the United States.
This is a very ominous sign that directly indicates a more active hurricane season. Warmer ocean waters, coupled with more rainfall, usually indicate intensified tropical storms.
That would be especially bad given the warmer-than-usual area of the Gulf Stream, which could exacerbate storms approaching the southeastern United States or the east coast.