There have been tremendous Twitter exertions overnight to correct the impression given by a Guardian headline that the Gulf Stream may be about to collapse because of global warming’s effect on Greenland’s ice cap. It isn’t. The Gulf Stream, as Project Drawdown’s Dr Jonathan Foley explains, is a huge aquatic superhighway driven by surface winds originating in the Caribbean. It brings warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic and there is zero chance of it collapsing even given the likely course of climate change. What could collapse is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) – a scenic byway compared with the Gulf Stream, which consists of cold, salty water sinking and spreading south from the Greenland and Norwegian seas. There’s evidence, the Guardian says, that freshwater runoff from Greenland is slowing AMOC down, and that this could have a sudden chilling effect on the European climate.
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