To the “horror stories” about the Gulf stream expert is critical

Some may have been alarmed by headlines that appeared in the press last week and claimed that the Gulf stream may “kick the bucket” in about 300 years.

However, Round Furevik (Tore Furevik) is not alarmed. Rather, the Director of the research Center for climate Bjerknes (McAdam), Professor, oceanographer, feels that it provoked.

“I don’t think that the circulation of water in the ocean will cease, although it can become weaker,” says Furevik. He believes that the authors of the new report used too frightening concept, but need not.

“They say that water circulation in the Atlantic ocean may end, but the process that they describe, occurs gradually over many hundreds of years. And he will not stop one day”.

“Whether you like it or not, but the study has become more tabloid”.

NB! Note that the concept of “Gulf stream” did not originally mean ocean currents right off the coast of Norway. Get the facts!

Many names of the Gulf stream create confusion

When it comes to the Gulf stream, should be especially cautious. Actually we are talking about three different systems, and only one of them is a real Gulf stream.

AMOS (Circulation in the Atlantic ocean): Grand system of currents in the Atlantic ocean, which carries water from the equator towards the poles and cold water back to the equator.

Gol: can be seen as an offshoot of AMOS, carrying warm water northward. Divided in two, most of the water goes to the East or North-East, to what is called the North Atlantic current.

The Norwegian Atlantic current: an offshoot of the North Atlantic current, which continues into the Norwegian sea and then goes North along the coast of Norway. The name of the Gulf stream often incorrectly used in relation to the Norwegian Atlantic current. It is also sometimes called the “Norwegian Gulf stream.”

Source: “Why scientists argue about the Gulf stream” (kranglar forskarane Derfor om Golfstraumen)


“This is a questionable practice”

Furevik criticizes not only the tabloid feeding the results of the study, but the study itself.

A new report based on the fact that, according to many, is a weak point of today’s climate models: they exaggerate the stability of oceanic currents.

Changing the amount of salt in the calculations, the scientists found that the future of ocean currents looks more sad than that predicted by other calculations.

This Furevik skeptical. Calculations, i.e. the model, is still very imperfect.

“This is a dubious practice. They are trying to correct the error by artificial means”.

“Scientists exaggerate the results”

Furevik also skeptical to the way of presenting results. In the press material says nothing about the approximation of research, the choice of such expressions as “kick the bucket” or “fail” is the case in a more dramatic light than it really is.

“Scientists often exaggerate the results to attract the interest of the press,” he says. In his opinion, this is especially true of publications in big journals Nature and Science.

Center Bjerknes explores ocean currents for many years, but may not rely on the equally sensational discoveries like the ones discussed in the report.

“Those who say that ocean currents do not change, major headlines, not rewarded,” says Furevik.

“Society is now all built on this. Definitely need to offer something new, not just to confirm that everything is exactly as you’d expect”.

He does not agree

Liu Wei (Liu Wei), the main author of a new study disagrees with critical comments made Round Purevia.

He refers to an interview in Business Insider, which speaks of the weaknesses of the study and that it is necessary to continue others.

The basic idea of scientists was the fact that all agree that the models overestimate the stability of a Grand system of currents in the Atlantic ocean, in the language of professionals called AMOS. And they tried to give your answer to this question.

“Models always need to improve. The question is: what do we do, given the state of the models today? If we can extract some useful information? We believe that we have corrected the salt content is the way forward,” — said Wei.

What scientists know about ocean currents?

Round Furevik briefly summarizes what researchers know about the system of currents in the Atlantic ocean today:

Ocean currents are stable: data on land ice in Greenland and simplified climate model gave reason to believe that ocean currents in the Atlantic could intensify and weaken in a short time, and that if the Gulf stream stops, it could be the result of global warming. Today, it is believed that currents in the Atlantic ocean more sustainable. Passed 11 thousand years since the last time, when the Northern branch of the Gulf stream, what we call the Norwegian Atlantic current apparently stopped. Scientists now believe that it was not there full stop, but that became a little weaker, it went deeper when meeting with more fresh water on the surface and continued at depth.

“Motor” in the North may become weaker: the Study suggests that a warmer climate may weaken the “motor” ocean currents in the North, it is caused by warmer water, increase in precipitation, the melting of ice in Greenland. In a hundred years can become 10-20% weaker.

The importance of the winds: Another important “engine” of ocean currents are wind, even if the ice will melt, the wind is weaker will not.

Norway warms the air Most of the heat goes to Northern Europe by air, not by sea. In other words, ocean currents — not the most important for the climate in the North.