Photo: Kathryn Hansen / NASA
NASA found that ocean currents in the Arctic are accelerating and becoming more turbulent because of the rapid melting of ice. However, if perennial winds will change direction, it is predicted that a huge amount of melt water released to the Atlantic, can cause imminent little ice age, greatly cooled the climate of Western Europe. About it reported in a press release on Phys.org.
The researchers analyzed data collected over 12 years companions, who watched over the circular Beaufort (Beaufort Gyre), the accumulation of fresh melt water. It turned out that the melting of glaciers and the formation of large amounts of cold fresh water destabilizie flow and cycles in the Atlantic ocean.
For Beaufort supports polar environment in balance, keeping the fresh water in the surface layer of the Arctic ocean. It is formed by the wind that blows in a clockwise direction, collecting fresh water from melting glaciers, river flows, and precipitation. Fresh water is on top of the warm, salty, sea ice is protecting and regulating the Earth’s climate. For decades, cold water then flows into the Atlantic ocean and is carried away in small quantities South currents.
Since the 1990s years in the cycle had accumulated about eight thousand cubic miles of fresh water. The main reason is the loss of sea ice in summer and autumn. In turn, devoid of ice cover is accelerated by stronger winds, which prevents the release of melt water into the Atlantic ocean. However, if perennial West wind will change direction, the current will begin to rotate counterclockwise, releasing huge quantities of cold water into the Atlantic and the changing regional climate. Earlier in this region, the winds changed direction every five to seven years, so it’s likely that this will happen again.
Growing turbulence promotes the mixing of warm and cold water, which also affects the accelerated melting of ice.
Video, photo All from Russia.