The Spectacle Blog

Global Freezing?

By on 11.30.05 | 5:42PM

Another wonderful EUnuch day comes to an end. The first face transplant (partial one, at least) was accomplished surgically in France. And those who are the most ardent supporters of the Kyoto global warming treaty, inevitably, are now facing the prospect of a -- wait for it -- mini-Ice Age that could engulf Europe.

From the Department of Stuff We Can't Make Up comes the report that the ocean current that gives Europe its balmy (atmospheric, not political) climate is failing and may create another ice age on the Continent. The (intemperate) money quote?

The North Atlantic is dominated by the Gulf Stream -- currents that bring warm water north from the tropics. At around 40° north -- the latitude of Portugal and New York -- the current divides. Some water heads southwards in a surface current known as the subtropical gyre, while the rest continues north, leading to warming winds that raise European temperatures by 5°C to 10°C.

But when [the study] team measured north-south heat flow last year, using a set of instruments strung across the Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Bahamas, they found that the division of the waters appeared to have changed since previous surveys in 1957, 1981 and 1992. From the amount of water in the subtropical gyre and the flow southwards at depth, they calculate that the quantity of warm water flowing north had fallen by around 30%.

Does that mean that the French will be dying in droves from the cold as their elderly and infirm did in summer 2003's heat wave? Does it mean that the "science" of global warming is a lot of hooey? Does it mean that everything in God's green earth ain't our fault? To borrow a phrase from the Foxtronauts, we report, you decide.

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