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Sunday, January 23, 2005

If the NAO pauses long enough, life as we know it will change forever.

So said Gregg Braden in a conference Roy and I attended last year. 

Gregg said it would only take two or so weeks of a shutdown of the gigantic 'whirlpool' called the North Atlantic Oscillationto end life as we know it, due to the drastic climate changes. He said it has already paused recently for short times .  The 'whirlpool' as he explained, is powered by the juxtaposition of the warm salty waters coming up from the Carribbean, the 'Gulf Stream', with the cold not so salty waters from the glaciers of Greenland... this causes the warm salty water to be on top and the colder to be below which keep the waters moving.  The Gulf Stream causes the famous London 'fog' and the more temperate climate in that area....   however, rapidly melting non-saline glaciers from Greenland could overwhelm the Gulf Stream, causing the motion to cease.

And then...guess what.



COLUMBUS, Ohio ? The recent analyses of eight ice cores drilled from the massive Greenland Ice Sheet may paint a map researchers can use to uncover the history of a massive weather machine controlling the climate around the North Atlantic basin.

The boundary between two major pressure systems ? the Icelandic Low and the Azores High -- controls whether storms reaching Europe are strong or weak, and whether the seasons are wetter or dryer.

This phenomenon called the North Atlantic Oscillation, or NAO, was only fully recognized a few decades ago. But available meteorological records can only trace its behavior back into the mid-1800s. That period is too short for scientists to really determine if variations they?ve seen this century might be linked to some larger, global climate change

The big question in climatology, Thompson says, is that everything we know with confidence is in historic records dating back only to the mid-1800s. We have very little data before that. She hopes the Greenland ice cores could lengthen that record.




Stay in your heart. Regardless of what happens, stay in your heart.


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