Gulf Stream

Gulf stream North Atlantic

Very often, the oceans have a very strong influence on the climate conditions in a part of the world.

The impact can be very different depending on whether around particular place pass cold or warm ocean currents.

Many deserts and rainforests around the world are formed in this way.

One of the most famous is the warm Gulf Stream, which originates from the warmest sea in the world – the Caribbean Sea.

In the majority of Caribbean, summer never ends.

Intense sun shining warms tirelessly Caribbean Sea water and because of this reason it remains warmer than 30°C during most of the year.

Warm waters of the Caribbean Sea are one of the most important forming factors of climate in this part of the world.

Moreover, the Gulf Stream forms also the climate of a large part of Europe, which is thousands of miles away from here.

This is one of the wonders of Mother Nature.

Indeed, Caribbean influences more strongly the climate of northwestern Europe than the climate of northeastern United States and eastern Canada, although they are much closer.

Gulf Stream and Europe

Gulf stream North Atlantic
Once formed in the Caribbean Sea, warm current takes over the northwest.

After crossing the entire Atlantic current reaches northern Europe.

Its warm waters influence the continent as a whole, but for some countries the current is really important.

For much of the continent Gulf Stream plays a role of heating system.

If you look at a map of Europe you will notice that on the same latitudes, on which in Europe has multi million cities, in other parts of the world live very few people.

You can compare for example, Iceland with northern Russia and northern Canada.

Or London, which is much in the north in comparison with New York, and has a much milder and warmer winters.

Northern Europe is located quite far north and largely owes its prosperity and mild climate of the warm waters of the Atlantic.

If it were not so powerful warm ocean current probably over a large part of Europe would be too cold to want people to live there permanently and settlements probably would have been much smaller, like many small towns in Siberia or the Yukon in Canada.

Countries whose climate is particularly dependent on the Gulf Stream are Iceland, Britain (which we already mentioned) as well as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of France.

The Gulf Stream affects also many other countries, but these are particularly affected by this trend and are extremely dependent on its changes.

Elsewhere in the world, places which are located on the same latitude, on which Britain is, in winter temperature can drop tens of degrees below zero.

On the British Isles, however, winters are very soft and moist, and thermometers rarely showed less than 0 degrees.

The same applies about Iceland.

Part of the island country is located beyond the Arctic Circle, but the Gulf Stream prevents terribly low temperatures, which are otherwise typical for these latitudes.

Changing the Gulf Stream

Recently, however, scientists hit alert! Many people started talking about the cooling of the Gulf Stream.

Does it will happen?

Who will be most affected and how will this affect the lives and economy?

Indeed, in recent years, scientists began noticing a slight cooling of the waters of the Gulf Stream.

It is assumed that melting Arctic ice cool the warm current and this fact decreases the influence of the stream on Northern Europe.

Cold water from melting ice neutralizes it, gradually reducing the warming effect for northern Europe.

People of many European countries feel the differences in climate in recent years.

For example, in Britain the stream begins to affect slightly on local climate.

What are the results?

Significantly colder winters, the occurrence of snowfall and unusually hot and dry summers.

Similar changes are also typical for countries like Belgium, Holland and northern France.

But how this would affect the Nordic climate, which anyway is pretty harsh, despite softening influence of the Gulf Stream?

Most affected countries will be the northern most – Iceland, Norway, Sweden and Finland.

If this cooling of the Gulf Stream continues to prove that it is not something temporary, but permanent trend is likely Scandinavia to be stiff from cold arctic air masses during the biggest part of the year.

Residents of countries of southern Europe live enough on south to not be afraid of possible climate change, but for Northern Europe, this could prove fatal.

What can people do?

Not much.

People could simply stop the emission of greenhouse gases and could seek to stop global warming worldwide.

This will stop the melting of arctic ice, which in turn will stop the cooling of the Gulf Stream.

The residents of Europe maybe will have to adapt gradually to different climatic conditions.

For example, residents of London in recent years have experienced unusually high summer temperatures and dry weather, while winter, however, creates many difficulties.

Residents of the global financial capital London are not accustomed yet to such weather conditions and this creates great difficulties during the winter months.