Friday, June 24, 2005

RealClimate: Gulf Stream slowdown?

Did I mention that RealClimate posts come in fits and burts? Right after the rebuttal of the WSJ junk science I read this one applying the brakes to the sensational reporting on
Gulf Stream slowdown?

There has been an overwhelming popular demand for us to weigh in on recent reports in the Times Britain faces big chill as ocean current slows and CNN Changes in Gulf Stream could chill Europe.

At the heart of the story was a statement at the recent EGU meeting by Peter Wadhams from Cambridge University, that convection in a normally active area of the Greenland Sea was much reduced last winter. Specifically, in an area where a dozen or so convective 'chimneys' form, only two small chimneys were seen.

[...]how does this relatively small-scale observation get translated into headlines forecasting changes in the Gulf Stream and chilly times ahead for Europe? The major problem is that the background story and the climate model results are now very well known, and any scientific result that appears to project onto this storyline therefore gets a lot of attention.

[...]Thus while continued monitoring of this key climatic area is clearly warranted, the imminent chilling of the Europe is a ways off yet.

So the Day After Tomorrow won't be happening any time soon. Too bad for the press–the truth about Climate Change is not as compelling a story.

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