Climate Change Threat to Cool North Europe Recedes

Over the last decade, as I followed changing understanding of climate change and biodiversity loss, the rule seemed to be for the former that last year’s estimates were too optimistic, for the latter, last month’s. Now there is a rare piece of good news, or less bad news anyway. Concerns are receding that added fresh water in the north Atlantic from rain and glacier melt may shut off a global conveyor belt. From Science Magazine, October 21:

A precipitous shift in climate could happen again, say researchers… But the prime menace no longer lies in the North Atlantic. Instead, a growing contingent of scientists now sees the North Atlantic as no more of a threat than accelerating sea level rise, megadroughts, and monsoon failures.

One Response to “Climate Change Threat to Cool North Europe Recedes”

  1. Two observations:
    1) Your quote from Science magazine wasn’t enough to calm my fears. The scenario which Dr. Calvin describes is still likely, maybe more so. Also, with the artic melt continuing, the needed brine is getting more dilute. True, I have not seen the numbers.

    2) if those events are equally likely, how likely is their coincidence? The other three accelerating sea level rise, megadroughts, and monsoon failures all seem to be related failures. A slowing of the Gulf Stream (part of the Global Conveyor Belt which is also called thermohaline circulation) will mean the tropics will get warmer hence megadroughts and monsoon failures.

    3) if the circulation is not slowing due to the increase of fresh water near the downwelling sites, then the mechanism that sends bitter cold winds across Canada and Greenland is still functioning. I wonder what that mechanism is. Nome, Alaska, had a rare, brief non-tropical cyclone at a speed similar to a hurricane level 2. Is this an indication that this cold air mechanism is at risk?

    Thank you for keeping track of these several, critical issues.