Re: Breaking News: World is 10 deg chillier

From: Michael Lorrey (
Date: Thu Jan 25 2001 - 09:33:58 MST

denis bider wrote:
> Eugene Leitl writes:
> > Do the models involve a deflected Golfstream?
> While we're at it - I guess I'm probably not the only person who saw this on
> Discovery Channel: they have a piece about this global conveyor belt, a
> current that runs through all the major seas and provides warmth to the more
> polar parts of the world, while cooling the more equatorial parts of the
> world. [Something like that, at least; I'm no expert.]
> They say that research has shown that the increased melting of ice in
> Greenland has caused decreased salinity of ocean water in that area, which
> affects the conveyor belt in that area: because differences in salinity are
> the motor that keeps the conveyor running, decreased salinity inhibits the
> current.

This is backwards. Arctic water is SUPPOSED to be low salinity.
Equatorial waters are supposed to be high salinity. The difference is a
chemical energy and osmotic potential that drives the conveyor current.
If global warming were really happening, then more water should be
evaporating from the equator (increasing the salinity of equatorial
waters) and falling at the poles (decreasing salinity there and
increasing conveyor currents).
Conversely, they claim that both the arctic ice sheet is melting due to
warming and that the conveyor is shutting down. Excuse me, but if the
conveyor current shuts down, this would result in COLDER arctic waters,
and thus more ice buildup.

The fact that things are happening contrary to their own model of how
things should be indicates that they are misreading something,

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