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View Diary: The Antarctic Half of the Global Thermohaline Circulation Is Faltering (134 comments)

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  •  it IS complicated, and confusing (15+ / 0-)

    That lens of (relatively) fresh water that is forming around Antarctica is challenging, and changing, almost everything in global circulation patterns.  It freezes sooner (and at a higher temperature).  That shields the water from the wind, and reduces wind-driven mixing.  It reduces, perhaps to the point of stopping altogether, the present global ocean circulation patterns.  That in turn will change global atmospheric weather.

    Nobody knows exactly what comes next.  We've never seen it happen, and our models, not terribly accurate in describing the world we know, are completely untested in the coming world that we don't know.

    Without a constant flow of cold water from the poles the Abyss will warm . . . and without cold slowly rising from the Abyss the mid-ocean and ocean surface will warm (already happening).  That will lead to more evaporation (driving a different haline circulation in the tropics) and stronger tropical winds driving different surface currents and greater mixing.

    Pretty much everything changes as a result . . . pretty much everywhere.  After it's all over some places will have it better and some worse.  While it's changing everywhere will be worse, because there is no way to know what to expect (except that it won't be what you've prepared for).

    Fake Left, Drive Right . . . not my idea of a Democrat . . .

    by Deward Hastings on Wed Apr 10, 2013 at 10:42:52 AM PDT

    [ Parent ]

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