Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gulf Stream

October 9, 2007, Dublin, Ireland

Gulf Stream

It’s a balmy day, misty and nearly raining, following last night’s hard rain as we came into the Dublin airport area. But early this morning as we drove to the airport to drop off Debra for her flight home to Chicago, and as Ted then took off in his new rental car for a couple of more days of travel in wonderland, there was a lightening and blue coloring to the sky in the west…the pattern here, we have found, and so the sun may find me yet today.

But this prompts my thoughts about the Atlantic Ocean current known as the Gulf Stream, and the World Ocean Project I have set up for my on-line Oceanography students: to investigate the Gulf Stream, to investigate the issue of global warming, and to put those together to investigate the possibility of a cooling trend in northern Europe if global warming causes changes to the Gulf Stream flow. So if this topic is of interest to you, please see the first comment to this post for the project assignment...

1 comment:

oceana vox said...

World Ocean Projects # 1

Northern Europe, the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift currents, and Global Warming: What are the connections? What are the concerns?

Objectives and introductory resources for this project:

A. To understand and describe the different characteristics of ocean salinities and temperatures, and to see how these differences “drive” the vertical or density-driven currents

See Textbook Chapter 5, Pages 102-103 for introduction on Density; then Chapter 7, Pages 156-106 for introduction on Density-driven ocean circulation or currents.

B. To understand and describe the main wind-driven or horizontal currents of the north Atlantic Ocean, (Gulf Stream, North Atlantic, Norwegian).

See Textbook Chapter 5, Page 166 for the horizontal (wind-driven) currents

C. To understand and describe the basic “greenhouse effect” of Earth’s overall climate.

See Textbook Chapter 6, Pages 129-132 for introduction.

D. To understand and discuss “global warming” as a human-induced warming trend (also called an enhanced “greenhouse effect”).

See Textbook Chapter 6, Pages 129-132 for introduction.

E. to further understand that as a climate change phenomena, not all regions of the Earth will be affected the same way by global warming, and some regions may actually experience a drop in temperatures.

This is the heart of World Ocean Project #1: to discuss the possible cooling effect that global warming may have on the northern-latitude Atlantic countries of Ireland, England, Scotland, and Scandinavia.

The websites listed below are articles written by a well-informed media, referencing scientific discussions, data, and experts. I do not expect you to read or use technical articles written by climate scientists (or the Stern report at the end of this list), but you may do so if you wish.

Climate Change and the United Kingdom (UK); Environment Watch (no date):
www.environment-watch.co.uk/uk-warmer-or-cooler.htm

Ireland and Northern European countries to benefit from global warming if Gulf Stream doesn't slow, etc, Finfacts Ireland, March 7, 2007:
www.finfacts.com/irelandbusinessnews/publish/article_10008594.shtml


General Environment Page for Truthout.org web-based media:
www.truthout.org/environment.shtml

The following 3 links are Truthout articles pertaining to global warming and the north Atlantic
www.truthout.org/issues_06/100207EA.shtml

www.truthout.org/cgi-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi/34/11007

www.truthout.org/issues_06/082107EB.shtml

Climate Change May Switch Off the Gulf Stream, Irish Times, Nov 2, 2000:
www.climateark.org/articles/2000/4th/cmayswof.htm

Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change; British Government publication, January, 2007:
From Cambridge University Press:
http://www.cambridge.org/catalogue/catalogue.asp?isbn=9780521700801

From British Government Press:
http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/Independent_Reviews/stern_review_economics_climate_change/sternreview_index.cfm