Created on Friday, 09 April 2010 19:00
The Gulf Stream and the Next Ice Age is a one-hour documentary that explores the results of a recent American government report that believes the collapse of thermohaline circulation will take place around the year 2010 and impose a minor ice age on Europe. Could Dublin acquire a climate like Spitzberg, and London like that of Siberia?
The Gulf Stream is a powerful surface current, driven by the Trade Winds. Its origins lie in the Gulf of Mexico and it carries the tropical waters from the Florida Strait to the great banks of the United States, where it heads eastward, carrying its warm waters to the borders of the North Atlantic. As soon as the tropical waters hit the Arctic Ocean, they cool abruptly and plunge towards the abyssal zone to form a loop, known as "thermohaline circulation". Then, like an immense conveyor belt that slows down in the ocean depths, it sets out again southward to rejoin the beginning of the Gulf Stream.