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Science/nature/environment

Possible gulf-stream collapse

(108 Posts)
GagaJo Fri 06-Aug-21 00:46:29

I find this terrifying.

www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/aug/05/climate-crisis-scientists-spot-warning-signs-of-gulf-stream-collapse

CafeAuLait Fri 06-Aug-21 02:43:08

I think the best thing we can all do is to just do our best to be good environmental citizens. I refuse to fret over something I have no further control over than that. The earth has always undergone significant and massive changes.

Esspee Fri 06-Aug-21 07:14:27

May I suggest that before getting over excited about a newspaper article you read Richard Seager’s presentation to the New York Academy of Science entitled “Climate Mythology: The Gulf Stream, European Climate and Abrupt Change”.

Katie59 Fri 06-Aug-21 07:43:24

We won’t have to worry about global warming then, temperatures equivalent to Newfoundland will be very unwelcome. So we will all have to migrate to warmer climes or adapt, more extremes of weather are very likely in years to come.

MawBe Fri 06-Aug-21 07:50:37

The Guardian is not usually sensationalist so this does give pause for thought.
People glibly joke about “Mediterranean summers” and global warming, but climate change is very real and very alarming.

Get the winter woollies out of the loft then?

Alegrias1 Fri 06-Aug-21 08:20:57

Seagar's work questions whether the shutdown of the gulf stream would have the effect of making the climate in the UK and the rest of Europe abruptly become like that of Canada, for example.

The Guardian article covers research that shows the Gulf Stream is close to collapse, and that will affect the climate of the entire world, possibly irreversibly.

You won't have a frozen Thames, but you might have unprecedented flooding in summer, more uncontrollable wildfires around the world.....sound familiar?

Esspee Fri 06-Aug-21 08:43:37

Algerias1. I have been reading these scare stories for years. Usually rolled out in the summer months to sell papers.
The climate is changing, always has, always will. How much is anthropogenic remains to be seen.
Glasgow was under ice fairly recently (in geological history) yet we have the remains of a Carboniferous Tropical rainforest in a city park.
Anyone want to place bets on the next big scare story?
My money is on magnetic pole reversal. The earth is long overdue for one. Just think of the devastation a sudden pole reversal will cause………….

Alegrias1 Fri 06-Aug-21 08:45:54

Eating breakfast right now. Climate change deniers will be addressd shortly.

Alegrias1 Fri 06-Aug-21 09:13:46

There are a group of people who think they've discovered that Climate Change is a cooked up idea to sell papers or allow big business to make billions. 97% of climate scientists agree with the evidence that climate change is man made. Possibly the other 3% agree that the world is flat, who knows.

Ice ages are cyclical and occur every 75,000 to 100,000 years. We're in an interglacial right now, and the changes we are observing now in our climate have happened over a period of about 50 years. This isn't natural smile.

I've been hearing these scare stories for decades too. There were a whole lot of things that were forecast to be tipping points, things that once they happened we'd know for sure there was climate change and that we were causing it. Melting permafrost in Siberia; break up of the Larsen B ice sheet; reduction is size of the Arctic winter ice coverage, for 3. Guess what? All happened. The Gulf Stream is probably next.

When the poles change, we'll have a period of time when communications will be affected and the homing pigeons might get a bit confused. Solar radiation will be higher and so there will probably be higher rates of cancer for a while, we should anticipate that. The aurora will be spectacular. Other than that, I think we'll be fine. Provided we can dodge the wildfires. droughts, food crises and flooding the climate change will have brought, of course.

Namsnanny Fri 06-Aug-21 10:00:18

This has been highlight for as long as I've been alive.

Not to say it wont happen, but unless there is anything I can positively do about it, I shant worry.
BTW it has happened many times before, but I'll let the better educated scientist types amongst us argue that one!grin

Caleo Fri 06-Aug-21 10:06:59

it is safer to be pessimistic regarding the man-made degradation of the Gulf Stream. There is too much to lose if the optimists win.

Alegrias1 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:10:02

Namsnanny

This has been highlight for as long as I've been alive.

Not to say it wont happen, but unless there is anything I can positively do about it, I shant worry.
BTW it has happened many times before, but I'll let the better educated scientist types amongst us argue that one!grin

Serious question - why are so many people more inclined to think that climate change of the size and scope we are seeing now is just natural and has happened many times before, when there is overwhelming evidence to the contrary?

Is it just too big and scary to contemplate? I can understand the attitude that its out of our hands as individuals, but not the attitude that it isn't our fault anyway.... sad

Witzend Fri 06-Aug-21 10:10:57

I believe it, but I’m another who can’t get too worried over something I can do so very little about. Not that that will stop me doing what I can, but it’s such a minute drop in the global ocean.

Caleo Fri 06-Aug-21 10:11:18

What us poorly educated old women can really do about averting massive ecological disaster is shout about it ask questions of our MPs, complain loudly , and together with the young ones make ourselves heard.

Oldwoman70 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:12:24

I don't think many people deny climate change - however there is little the average person can do. Recycle whatever we can, cut out plastics, drive less etc. etc. but the damage is mostly being caused by countries such as China which in 2019 was responsible for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions

25Avalon Fri 06-Aug-21 10:17:56

We don’t know if “a collapse will occur or how close it will be” according to the Guardian report if you read it from beginning to end. So no exact science on this as yet just a possible warning that has been trotted out every summer for the past few years. I suspect it is being voiced again now with the climate change conference due in Glasgow.

Peasblossom Fri 06-Aug-21 10:19:11

It won’t be massive ecological disaster. It will be massive ecological change. As has happened before in the earths history and will happen again.

Of course, when people talk about ‘saving the planet”, what they really mean is “saving the planet as a place for humans.”

An ecological change that doesn’t suit us will be a gift to some other species.

Namsnanny Fri 06-Aug-21 10:19:29

Oldwoman70

I don't think many people deny climate change - however there is little the average person can do. Recycle whatever we can, cut out plastics, drive less etc. etc. but the damage is mostly being caused by countries such as China which in 2019 was responsible for more than a quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions

Good post.

Katie59 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:19:53

“Seagar's work questions whether the shutdown of the gulf stream would have the effect of making the climate in the UK and the rest of Europe abruptly become like that of Canada, for example.”

The climate of Europe is already similar to North America - cold winters, hot summers, the Gulfstream only affects North West Europe to a limited extent. The UK is very dependant but we will still have a maritime climate dependant on the temperature of the Atlantic, so let’s hope we don’t have an ice age and the seas freeze.

Namsnanny Fri 06-Aug-21 10:20:44

25Avalon

We don’t know if “a collapse will occur or how close it will be” according to the Guardian report if you read it from beginning to end. So no exact science on this as yet just a possible warning that has been trotted out every summer for the past few years. I suspect it is being voiced again now with the climate change conference due in Glasgow.

Another good point

Whitewavemark2 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:25:57

Climate change is a problem for the world. Naming and shaming individual countries gets us absolutely nowhere.

Those who deny the evidence that climate change is the result of human activity should provide evidence to the contrary.

There are a number of things as an individual you can do.

Reduce your carbon footprint immediately by 10% by switching to renewable fuel.

Buy an electric car or like us a hybrid until the infrastructure is up to speed.

Plant trees. We pay for a tree to be planted each time a family member has a birthday.

Support biodiversity projects like re+wilding.

Cut out or down any flights you make.

Support sustainable fishing, eat no or less meat.

Support political parties who have the best climate change policies.

Lobby your MP

Lots more.

Do it all for your grandchild’s future.

GagaJo Fri 06-Aug-21 10:29:32

Whitewavemark2

Plant trees. We pay for a tree to be planted each time a family member has a birthday. GREAT idea. I'm going to start this.

Cut out or down any flights you make. I've already started this.

We have also stopped buying plastic. I wanted some biscuit cutters. Lovely animal set in the supermarket. Plastic. Didn't buy them.

I think of my grandson now when I make my choices. I worry about the world he has ahead of him.

Oldwoman70 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:30:41

"Naming and shaming individual countries gets us absolutely nowhere" Actually until those countries are "named and shamed" and forced to take action the efforts by the rest of us, whilst commendable, are merely a drop in the ocean

Whitewavemark2 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:41:34

Naming and shaming is a cope out.

China is currently a big CO2 producer, but every developed country is guilty of being so.

The U.K. government is about to give permission for a huge oil field to be opened in the North Sea.

How will naming stop it?


Everyone in the world has to put pressure on every government to act responsibly.

Alegrias1 Fri 06-Aug-21 10:46:51

There's no point trying to shame countries into doing things, any more than there is a point in trying to shame people into taking vaccines.

The Chinese know as well as anybody else what the impacts of climate change are, we need to all work together to fix it.

Also; there is lots of exact science about the Gulf Stream. The only unknown is when, and whether we still have time to do something about it. And as someone pointed out above, whether its 10 years away, or 20, or 100, is a blip in geological time.