Gulf Stream may slow down as influence on Britain’s climate

The Gulf Stream that helps to keep Britain  from freezing over in winter has begun to slow down.

The Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream Image by NASA Goddard Space Flight Center / CC BY 2.0

A new study suggests that the major changes are now taking place to the ocean currents of the North Atlantic. Experts say that the huge flow of freshwater into the North Atlantic from the ever-increasing melting ice cap of Greenland have slowed the ocean “engine” which normally drives the Gulf Stream from the Caribbean towards north-west Europe.

The London Independent reports that this stream brings heat equivalent to the output of a million power stations. However, scientists still predict that Britain will probably warm up due to climate change if the Gulf Stream doesn’t shudder to a complete stop.

In a study published in the journal Nature Climate Change, Professor Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany, said it was conspicuous that one specific region of the North Atlantic was cooling in the past 100 years as the rest of the world heated up, adding that a slowdown in ocean currents may be the explanation.

Places from this story

Related content