Sunday, December 10, 2006

So ... about the Thermohaline Circulation

Well. OK. You'll recall the thermohaline circulation shut down, dooming us all to nasty, mean, brutish and short lives. Now, in the link, they say they can only show that it decreased 30 %, but you know how these reporting scientists are always so conservative.

They're getting worse!
Variations up and down within 1 year are as large as the changes seen from one snapshot to the next during the past few decades
The story is that the first result was from an instantaneous reading from a ship. Before they did that, they also lay in some long term instruments in the same area, and they've started to collect data from it. So, now they can see the variability, and they'd like to mitigate the panic.

The upshot is, some of us might live. I'm going to bed more hopeful than I was when I woke up.

1 comment:

Nephos said...

MIT's Carl Wunsch has been a big critic of the Thermohaline collapse stuff (in the Economist for example). He argues the Gulf Stream cannot fail because the sun rises, on a spherical planet to boot, ergo sum; but a reliable source tells me that this is a bit mis-leading because, strictly, the Gulf Stream only refers to a little bit of the overall Thermohaline circulation, the latter which is not necessitated by conservation of angular momentum.