Climate Breakthrough for Nordic scientists

20.09.2005
Scientists involved in the Nordic research programme on West-Nordic Ocean Climate, take the Gulf Stream off the sick list and predict that mussels will grow on Spits Bergen in a few decades.
Five scientists from Iceland, Norway and the Faeroe Islands have published these remarkable discoveries in the article ”Influence of the Atlantic Sub-Polar Gyre on the Thermohaline Circulation” in the September 16 issue of Science. The scientists prove that major changes are taking place in the circulation of the North Atlantic. Most of the scientists behind these findings are involved in the research programme West Nordic Ocean Climate, a research programme over five years (2000-2005) funded by NordForsk.

Until the mid 1990-ies, researchers noticed that the concentration of salt in the Gulf Stream was decreasing, and that this led to falling sea temperatures. The observations now, however, show that the water is getting warmer and saltier. If the temperature had continued to fall, the Nordic countries could have expected a dramatically colder climate. But according to the new data, there is no new ice age coming up in the foreseeable future.

“What we are seeing now might be the biggest change in the ocean climate ever observed in our part of the world, and also among the major changes in the world oceans”, researcher Helge Drange says to “Aftenposten”. The scientists are certain that the climate changes are a result of changes in the atmosphere, but say that it is impossible to determine whether these are a manmade or not.

Read the article in Aftenposten here
Read more about West Nordic Ocean Climate here
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