Changes to Polar Vortex affect mile-deep ocean circulation patterns
Sept. 23, 2012 – A University of Utah study suggests something amazing: Periodic changes in winds 15 to 30 miles high in the stratosphere influence the seas by striking a vulnerable “Achilles heel
” in the North Atlantic and changing mile-deep ocean circulation patterns, which in turn affect Earth’s climate.
A Vulnerable Soft Spot in the North Atlantic
“The North Atlantic is particularly important for global ocean circulation, and therefore for climate worldwide,” Reichler says. “In a region south of Greenland, which is called the downwelling region, water can get cold and salty enough – and thus dense enough – so the water starts sinking.”
It is Earth’s most important region of seawater downwelling, he adds. That sinking of cold, salty water “drives the three-dimensional oceanic conveyor belt circulation. What happens in the Atlantic also affects the other oceans.”
Reichler continues: “This area where downwelling occurs is quite susceptible to cooling or warming from the troposphere. If the water is close to becoming heavy enough to sink, then even small additional amounts of heating or cooling from the atmosphere may be imported to the ocean and either trigger downwelling events or delay them.”
Because of that sensitivity, Reichler calls the sea south of Greenland “the Achilles heel of the North Atlantic.”
The oil disaster weakened the loop current and in turn
weakened the gulf stream, this polar vortex collapse
could be the straw that breaks the camels back, in other
words completely stop the gulf stream........
The beginning of the new Ice Age
[link to arctic-news.blogspot.nl