Tol on Gulf Stream slowdown: "Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming…"

Gulf Stream slowdown to spare Europe from worst of climate change

global_thermohaline

From the UNIVERSITY OF SUSSEX and Dr. Richard Tol.

Europe will be spared the worst economic impacts of climate change by a slowing down of the Gulf Stream, new research predicts.

Scientists have long suggested that global warming could lead to a slowdown – or even shutdown – of the vast system of ocean currents, including the Gulf Stream, that keeps Europe warm.

Known as the Thermohaline Circulation, this system operates like a conveyor belt, transporting warm water from the tropics to Europe, where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks.

As the world warms, melting icecaps and increased rainfall are widely predicted to slow this process down by flooding oceans with cold freshwater.

Some experts even fear that the process could shut down altogether, plunging Europe into a new ice age.

However, a new study by the University of Sussex, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and the University of California, Berkeley finds that, rather than cooling Europe, a slowdown of the Thermohaline Circulation would mean the continent still warms, but less quickly than other parts of the world.

This would lead to a rise in welfare standards in Europe, concludes the research, which is published in the leading economics journal the American Economic Review.

Professor Tol, Professor of Economics in the School of Business, Management and Economics at the University of Sussex, said: “Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming, particularly in Europe. People rightly fear that climate change would cause a new ice age.

“Fortunately, our study finds no cooling at all. Instead, we find slower warming: a boon for Europeans.”

Of course, as ocean currents redistribute rather than create heat, slower warming for Europe means slightly accelerated warming elsewhere.

The study, therefore, adds to a growing body of evidence predicting a rich/poor divide in the climate change stakes. Developing countries will be less able to cope with rising sea levels, for example, and – as this research suggests – may warm faster than other, more developed parts of the world.

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149 thoughts on “Tol on Gulf Stream slowdown: "Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming…"

  1. So why didn’t it shut down 5000 years ago, when the Greenland icecap was a fair bit smaller than it is now? Didn’t the melting of that icecap during the HCO pour quite a bit of cold freshwater into the ocean then, much more than it is doing now?

  2. “where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks.” ??
    Wouldn’t evaporation INCREASE salinity and density ?

    • Yes. They got it backwards. And the main driver is formation of polar ice, which exudes salt, increasing near freezing winter water salinity, increasing its density, and causing it to sink. That dosplacement draws surface water north and drives bottom water south in the NH.

      • There is another factor that’s widely ignored which is the relative differences between evaporation and precipitation between the poles and equator. Much of the evaporation of tropical waters makes its way towards the poles as storm systems. In the tropics, evaporation is more than precipitation while at the poles, precipitation is more than evaporation. If not counterbalanced by the Thermohaline, all the worlds water would end up at the poles. Cold water at the poles sinks, displacing deeper cold water whose escape path is to push back up in the tropics to restore hydrostatic equilibrium. Not only is there a net surface flow of heat from the tropics to the poles, there’s an offsetting net subsurface flow of cold restoring hydrostatic equilibrium.
        I also want to point out that there is no flow of WARM surface waters from Alaska down the California coast, except that its warmer than the 0C water at the ocean bottom and is offset by a warm surface current going towards the pole along the Asian side of the Pacific.

      • Yes, I was also wondering how the deep cold water suddenly became “warm” as it rose off the coast of Alaska. There are several errors in this article which suggests that it does not reflect a very good understanding of processes involved.

        Of course, as ocean currents redistribute rather than create heat, slower warming for Europe means slightly accelerated warming elsewhere.

        This is taking a simplistic compartmentalised view of a very complex interactive system. Strong negative feedbacks in the tropics keep sea surface temperatures very stable. This is less the case at higher latitudes. So flow cannot be simply regarded as a net zero displacement of heat.
        If less heat is exported from the tropics ( by the gulf stream, for example ) the surface will not get notably warmer since it is held stable by climate processes, this means less incoming solar energy is absorbed. It has an effect on the global energy budget.
        Since the tropics are relatively stable and extra tropics less so, the strength of such currents will affect the mean global temperatures which are taken as the definitive metric of “global warming” aka “climate change”.
        It really does not make sense to think that variations in there currents are net neutral as suggested.

    • Isn’t it amazing that hot surface water in the tropics doesn’t lose heat to the atmosphere by evaporation, but waits until it gets to the cold polar regions before evaporating into a frigid air.
      I would wager that warm surface water loses far more heat to colder underlying water, by far than it does to a frozen atmosphere by evaporation.
      Water makes a virtually infinite heat sink compared to the conduction at the surface to the atmosphere.
      The water doesn’t have to sink, there is plenty of cold water at the bottom to flow back underneath to the tropics; meanwhile the surface water, having lost most of its heat (excess) to the colder deeper water, simply returns to the tropics on the surface, as a cool surface current.
      We get ours in California from the Japan Current, after it pays a vist to Alaska.
      G
      The earth’s rotation from West to East is what drives the Gulf Stream; not any thermohaline bunkum. Just try getting a thermohaline rotation going on a stationary planet that doesn’t rotate on its axis relative to the sun, and doesn’t have a close moon to cause tidal bulges that rotate.

    • That is why I gave it one star, if there were no stars it would have deserved it ( But at least it was admitted slow warming is a boon to western Europe, finally).

    • If you view density in light of modern cosmology then this makes total sense;
      You start from infinity and work backwards. Reverse the sign of gravity, such that potential energy is negative and you see then that the sum of everything ‘has to be zero’.
      See where this is going?
      The ‘great steaming pile’ (see above), was dug out by the scholar making a hole for himself.
      It all adds up to diddly squat.
      In negative gravity world the most dense scholar is pulled relentlessly by negative energy to the top of the pile. The only thing stopping the density becoming infinite is that it is offset by salary. Huge salary added at exactly the right career point halts the process by ‘distraction’ (like attraction, but different). Huge salary prevents the most dense scholars spiralling up their own orifices and dragging us all with them. Time spent on the yacht in the Bahamas prevents the constant production of useless matter, and restores balance to the Universe.

  3. “Fortunately, our study finds no cooling at all. Instead, we find slower warming: a boon for Europeans.”
    …we’re already there

  4. “Cooling is probably a good bit more harmful than warming,…”
    Probably.
    Mostly.
    We sure are fortunate that Professor Tol has noticed this, else we’d never have know it.

    • Hey, he’s at least saying it. Ninety-seven percent of all people would be stunned at the news.
      ==========

  5. Climate change won’t be noticeable here, but it will be far worse elsewhere. Strange how many places on the Earth that seems to apply to.

  6. “Of course, as ocean currents redistribute rather than create heat”
    Oceans “create” heat ? Must be something new ..

  7. >…where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks.
    Can anyone explain this? Doesn’t physics suggest that evaporation would INCREASE both salinity and density?

    • Doesn’t physics suggest that evaporation would INCREASE both salinity and density?

      I agree! What evaporates takes no salt so what is left behind is saltier. And when heat is lost, the remaining water is colder and denser.

      • “evaporation decreases salinity and density ”
        And wouldn’t decreased density mean it stays on top?

      • “And wouldn’t decreased density mean it stays on top?”
        That all depends on what the CO2 in the water wants to do. If it decides to hide in the deep oceans, the water will sink regardless of its density. 🙂
        You see, CO2 is both an intelligent and an evil molecule. The 97% believe it is capable of doing anything and, like a vengeful God, it is the cause of everything bad that happens. Only by banning fossil fuels and offering the lives of millions in sacrifice to the CO2 God, can they appease it and turn away its mighty anger.

      • “You see, CO2 is both an intelligent and an evil molecule.”
        It’s my understanding that just “man-made”, fossil fuel derived, CO2 molecules are evil. Natural occurring CO2 molecules save the planet from icy doom?

    • You are concerned with ORDINARY physics where evaporation INCREASES both salinity and density. This is a paper on climate change where the rules of physics are sometimes reversed – at the whim of the organization funding the study. We all have to remember this principal “He who funds the study makes the rules”.

    • Are you referring to the way the current seems to flow over some rather solid islands as well as taking a shortcut through the middle of Florida? The other thing that troubles me is the question of how the gulfstream interacts with the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. I would say that the map (chart) is at least a tiny bit oversimplified.

      • Global Warming also causes water currents to flow through land- there’s nothing it can’t accomplish!

      • @ Joe Wagner..that is likely the cause of all of the Florida sinkholes in recent years. Look for a new study to come out any day now, which will verify how that process works.

      • well as some argo buoys were reporting sea temps from the middle of africa according to the position they transmitted, this is perfectly possible 😉

      • No, commieBob. My problem is cold water flowing up to Alaska and the turning into warm water flowing past the Canadian west coast. How could the Aleutian Islands be a source of heat?

      • Frederick Michael says: July 11, 2016 at 6:42 pm
        … How could the Aleutian Islands be a source of heat?

        This chart of surface currents is hard to reconcile with the diagram we are complaining about.
        Here’s another chart which shows the Alaska current. As you can see, the current along the Aleutians flows from east to west. The Aleutians are not a source of heat.
        The graphic attached to this story is simplified and intended to illustrate a point. The trouble is that it’s seriously misleading.

    • FM, it is correct. And it is reinforced by the surface Japan current, also clockwise, part of the north Pacific gyre. There are incorrect illustrations out there that have the North Pacific gyre going counter clockwise. It doesn’t.

      • On top of the various other things pointed out above that miss the mark, anything else in this paper that doesn’t add up?
        Meanwhile “bloke down the pub” got it oh so right: “Climate change won’t be noticeable here, but it will be far worse elsewhere. Strange how many places on the Earth that seems to apply to”.
        Prof. Tol has his snout in the CAGW/CACC funding trough just about as deeply as many others but at least has the decency to make a genuine effort pointing out when and where the climate establishment has their heads up their collective hoozah [ the well characetized interface between mixtures of warm more or less solid liquids and associated gases with the surrounding atmosphere..]

      • I don’t have a problem with the direction; it’s the colors that puzzle me. I think the Pacific current should be turning red somewhere in the tropics, before it heads to the North American west coast.
        Unless there’s a really big underwater volcano just south of Alaska.

      • The big northern clockwise oceanic currents both cycle warm water north and cold water south. The West coast of North America has cool water also from upwelling due to the Coriolis Effect of the southward running current.
        ==============

  8. “Fortunately, our study finds no cooling at all. Instead, we find slower warming: a boon for Europeans.”
    What “study”? Published in an economics journal? I don’t know whether to laugh or cry.

    • “Fortunately, our study finds model predicts no cooling at all. Instead, we find our model predicts slower warming: a boon for Europeans.”
      Fixed.

    • Richard Tol is one of the good guys, and one of the foremost experts in the world on economics and global warming. He resigned from IPCC AR5 in protest at the alarmism in the SPM. He may not be a physicist, but he has a lot of expertise and is one of the few heavy weights willing to call out the alarmists.

      • What is happening with Richard Tol is covered in a book called The Deniers that I have just started reading. It sets out to find a pre-eminent expert in each field who challenges a work by the warmists and brings it down. What it points out is that every one of these experts does believe in AGW because they trust the work of others in different fields but when presented with garbage such as hockey sticks and Stern’s economic effort they can’t let it go unchallenged. It includes Richard Tol for his Stern demolition, Wegman on hockey stick abuse of statistics, Landsea on hurricanes etc. What none of them do is join the dots to see that in every field what is considered a leading piece of work is in fact junk.

  9. I get the impression that in these studies, they don’t have a clue what they are talking about but just amble on mindlessly because they like to hear themselves pontificate.

  10. All I know is that the last time we went into a period of lower solar magnetic activity around 1300 CE, the weather got really, really nasty all over Europe for a number of years and we had famines off and on for the entire 14th century. The “Greate Famine” of 1315-1317 had to do with crud weather more than anything else. Of course, after that, the weather was not a barrel of monkeys either. The paintings, etc. of the 11th to 14th centuries show people not wearing a lot of head gear. After that, they are all shown wearing ear muffs. Hyperbole a tad, but starting in the 15th they all do wear caps with stuff that they can draw down over their ears. 14th century is a tad mixed on that regard.

  11. Is it just me or do I detect a change in alarminati rhetoric as they realise that the current weak solar cycle, to be probably followed by another weak cycle, will actually cause the planet to cool ?
    Are they trying to create a way out of the AGW scam ?

    • I think they are trying to restructure the conversation to maintain their control of the narrative. They are not going to succeed as they still don’t fully comprehend that which is on it’s way. Take this supposed study. What will they say when the cold arrives, and the Gulf Stream has not changed as stated above? That will be the moment to bring these “studies” back to the light of day, and ask the question “What went wrong with your theory?”

  12. It isn’t funny anymore.
    Raising Co2 to feed the world, slowing the Gulf Stream to cool down Europe, putting up a solar reflector in space to block the sun.
    Unlimmited Madness.

  13. Please check the statement concerning evaporation and salinity. Evaporation increases salinity and density.

  14. Is it just my imagination, or are the climate alarminati trying to create a story for the coming cooling trend?
    Caused by AGW, of course.

    • If you’re not looking to find cooling, and you find cooling, then it must not be cooling, but decreased warming, there’s a fine line for the alarminnati wordplay jesters.
      And CO2 will still be increasing as the decrease goes negative.

    • Andy, that started a few years ago. First I saw was on NatGeo about 4-5 years ago. They’ve been pushing it a bit more every year.

  15. Ignores the winds driven by the temperature difference between the tropics and the arctic and the Coriolis.

  16. “Fortunately, our study finds no cooling at all. Instead, we find slower warming: a boon for Europeans.”
    What they meant to say is that their model finds no cooling at all. All they were studying was modeling where the variables were controlled by them. GIGO

    • Good question, I tried to find the answer in the article, maybe the slower warming being a boon to Europe is it? (What ever a boon is to Europe these days)

  17. Negative North Atlantic Oscillation episodes drive low AMOC events, which warms the AMO and Arctic, and very slightly speed up the gulf stream. Negative NAO increases through solar minima, so the AMO was warm in the 1800’s, and in Dalton considerable sea ice loss was recorded around 1816-18.
    http://www.rapid.ac.uk/

      • “That applies to when the sun is in toe so called 11 year sunspot cycle. If prolonged minimum solar conditions persist this may not apply.”
        While a negative NAO regime persists, it will driving a warm AMO, the gulf stream may possibly cool a little but the AMO won’t cool strongly until the next positive NAO regime. The bulk of the negative NAO through solar minima occurs roughly between the sunspot maxima of the weaker cycles, +1yr, e.g. 1885-1895, 1807-1817, and 1672-1705 for three cycles but with a brief warm spell around the sunspot maximum of 1686. Annual CET (far right column) shows these periods well:
        http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/tcet.dat
        “Also Ulric if solar conditions stay quiet long enough sea surface temperatures on a global basis will be lower.”
        Upper ocean heat content would be effected, with the surface, what matters most is the regional response, which is a warm AMO, and increased El Nino.

    • That applies to when the sun is in toe so called 11 year sunspot cycle. If prolonged minimum solar conditions persist this may not apply.
      Also Ulric if solar conditions stay quiet long enough sea surface temperatures on a global basis will be lower.
      Sunspot number 40 or less seems to correlate with cooling sea surface temperatures on a global basis.

  18. Of course, as ocean currents redistribute rather than create heat, slower warming for Europe means slightly accelerated warming elsewhere.
    The study, therefore, adds to a growing body of evidence predicting a rich/poor divide in the climate change stakes. Developing countries will be less able to cope with rising sea levels, for example, and – as this research suggests – may warm faster than other, more developed parts of the world.
    ==========
    …..really Richard?
    please

    • “Developing countries will be less able to cope with rising sea levels”
      On the contrary..
      Mud huts, dirt roads etc are much easier to move/replace than 50 story skyscrapers and 6 lane freeways..
      What was that freeway in NY or somewhere that was meant to get flooded by sea level rise? Is it still there?

      • C’mon, Richard, it’s always a balance between the greater risk to infrastructure in more developed versus more economic susceptibility in less developed. I second the ‘please’ of Latitude above, and I’d stretch it into ‘pleeeaaase’ for a little longitude.
        You are absolutely imagining a class conflict where one need not exist.
        I like to say that the Chinese covered their chagrin over the failure of the guilt-ridden developed West at Copenhagen by pretending outrage at the neo-colonialist maneuverings of one Obama.
        So get off it. PPPPlllllleeeeeaaaaassssseeee.
        ================

      • Dang, ‘the failure of the shakedown of the guilt-ridden developed West…’
        I might add that the guilt is entirely misplaced. Social and economic development fueled by hydrocarbons is a tremendous boon. The mild warming from it is beneficial and the tremendous greening from increased CO2 is already feeding an extra billion people.
        So, no guilt, no fear, we can face the future with confidence that our impact will be mild and net beneficial, and where it is not, then our ingenuity and cheap energy will find a way through the local travails.
        =======

    • Andy…I was referring to his….some places will warm faster than other places….and developing countries will warm faster
      How absurd….that’s so far out there it deserves it’s own planet and zip code

      • i think what it means is developing countries have less calibrated measuring equipment, so extrapolation and smearing techniques are more likely to show higher temperatures than actually occur .

  19. Yes, AMOC has slowed, though the rate of slowing has decreased. No, it is not caused by ‘climate change’ – the slowdown during the 21st century was an order of magnitude greater than that predicted by climate models, therefore very likely natural (multidecadal variability) and not necessarily caused by freshwater hosing. The Gulf Stream component of the overturning circulation has not slowed significantly.
    I don’t know where this study in an economics journal gets its conclusions from, but they don’t seem very well informed by current scientific research and observations of AMOC variability.

  20. Meanwhile in the Sunday Times yesterday “Britain’s climate will become increasingly extreme over the next few decades, with a growing risk of floods, drought and hotter temperatures, a government report will warn this week.”
    Behind paywall http://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/climate-report-predicts-british-heatwaves-of-48c-c6gf78rcx
    It continues “The Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA) will claim that if global greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, southern England could face regular summer heatwaves during which temperatures would reach 48C in London, 40C in the rest of southern England and 30C in northern areas.”
    We must back all the horses in the race.

    • 48 Deg C??? Honestly, I wish some of these buffoons would just look at real world climate. Most areas of Australia and the rest of the subtropical heat regions in the world have never reached 48 Deg C. If they knew anything about weather they would realise islands like the UK surrounded by cool water can never achieve temps like this.

    • 48C in London but only 40C in “the rest of southern England” suggests UHI of up to 8C. If true the “trick” of measurements being taken largely in UHI influenced setting explains all warming since 1850 or whatever year “they” now use.

    • Also reported by the BBC’s Alarmist Correspondent Roger Harrabin. His piece includes:
      “The committee says if emissions are allowed to spiral, London summer temperatures could hit 48C (118F) in an extreme scenario, although the advisers say they don’t expect that to happen.”
      So why not report what they say might happen? Clearly not alarming enough.

  21. If I replace the term climate change with global warming, I get this statement from Tol:
    “People rightly fear that global warming would cause a new ice age.”
    Global warming causes ice age? I love it. Statements like this restore my interest in climate change blogosphere! We need more batshit crazy *studies*! I want more nuts!

  22. “…Of course, as ocean currents redistribute rather than create heat, slower warming for Europe means slightly accelerated warming elsewhere.
    The study, therefore, adds to a growing body of evidence predicting a rich/poor divide in the climate change stakes. Developing countries will be less able to cope with rising sea levels, for example, and – as this research suggests – may warm faster than other, more developed parts of the world…”
    Pffffffffffffffft

    • There will be victims aplenty, as there has always been, but not the ones predicted by these morons. Their pretended confidence is harmful. Regional predictions have utterly no skills.
      ================

  23. ‘Some experts even fear that the process could shut down altogether, plunging Europe into a new ice age.’
    Fear? Really?

  24. This is silly. The ocean currents take heat from the warmer parts of the oceans and move it to the poles. The warmest part of the oceans is near the equator. As the Solar output is reduced as per the solar minimum, the ocean currents will decrease.
    Europe will get colder due to lack of energy from the Sun, AND will also suffer from the reduction in heat from the slow down of the Gulf Stream.

      • Your data was at the end of the peak cycle of solar input to Earth’s oceans. Since 1650 the oceans have warmed. Now the Solar output is reducing. The Gulf Stream is over a 350 year cycle. You aren’t seeing it because your time period is only 40 years. From 1600 to 1650 there was a Solar collapse in energy output {virtually no sunspots for 50 years}. The Gulf Stream shut down as indicated by the English parties on the frozen Thames River.

      • ” From 1600 to 1650 there was a Solar collapse in energy output {virtually no sunspots for 50 years}. The Gulf Stream shut down as indicated by the English parties on the frozen Thames River.”
        I think you mean 1650-1700, and Frost Fairs and other cold winters don’t tell you anything about the AMO phase.

  25. “This would lead to a rise in welfare standards ”
    Do you mean they will be paying out more in welfare ?

  26. “The study, therefore, adds to a growing body of evidence predicting a rich/poor divide in the climate change stakes.”
    Yes, there is a lot of evidence that there is a growing body of studies making the same unsubstantiated claims about CAGW. They are a source of much merriment every day on this website.

    • I have been working in tropical Ltin America, Africa and Asia for 45 years and have come to the opinion that living standards are rising rapidly.
      Worldwide, the gäp between rich and poor countries is closing, except where there is warfare and except where governments suppress the private sector,by deliberate policies or runaway corruption, and in a very few cases by the unintended consequences of misguided good intentions.

    • “where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks.”
      Nope !
      When warm saline surface current reaches the Northern latitudes, cold Arctic and sub-Arctic winds strip warm current of its heat content (see shaded circles in vicinity of Greenland on the diagram above) at rate of several hundred W/m2.
      Losing its warmth saline water’s density rises and the currents sink to depths of up to two km.
      Rising warm air’s heat is absorbed by the higher altitude polar jet-stream increasing its energy, which is subsequently dissipated by the jet-stream’s swing from shorter zonal to much longer meridional path. This effect is often referred to ‘Icelandic low’ blocking, affecting the weather across the Euro-Asian continental mass.
      Jet-streams meridional swing drags the cold winds further south, stripping even more heat and pumping the extra energy into the jet stream (positive feedback) often locking the jet stream into the meridional flow for a prolong periods of time.

  27. Enter the new excuse for lack of warming in coming years. This is the new aerosols.
    Of course there is 0 evidence any slowdown in the Atlantic is because of man made emissions, the leap will be made, here is another plausible but un-falsifiable excuse for the lack of attribution

  28. Studies of sediment between Florida and Cuba had indicated that the Gulf Stream slows down with cooling and speeds up with warming, the opposite of what is expected using the assumption of more melting and rain to dilute the northern seas. It is an issue of viscosity, colder fluid flows more slowly thus delivering les warmth to New England and Europe, so slower with cooling waters means cooler lands. Warming, the Gulf Stream flows more easily and more heat is delivered.

  29. With or without the Gulf stream shouldn’t temperatures rise Anyway? Are they just hedging their bets in case it gets cold? Why would they think it would get Cold? I remember a report not to long ago that CAGW was predicting orange trees growing in England. CAGW is all over the place with their projections.

  30. “People rightly fear that climate change would cause a new ice age.”
    So which “climate change” would this be? Natural climate change or the human induced variety? I’m guessing it’s the human induced variety because the only “climate change” people “fear” is of that stripe.
    So if it warms, it’s climate change (AKA global warming). If it cools, it’s climate change (AKA global warming). Presumably if nothing happens, that’ll also be climate change (AKA global warming).
    Nothing like covering all the bases, huh.
    Not impressed.

    • Deliberate obfuscation, or innocent error; its always the same question, the same question.
      ===========

      • I gave up on innocent error a long time ago.
        The question I ask is: What does NO climate change/global warming look like? I’m not the only one getting fed up with everything counting as as positive signal.

    • ““People rightly FEAR that climate change would cause a new ice age.””
      Well, it would make an almighty mess of the CAGW meme..
      and hence probably have a big effect on FUNDING…
      No wonder they are worried.

      • That’s why they are covering their rear ends. They’ve been skating on thin ice for a long time now, but it’s getting a whole lot thinner – excuse the terminology, please.

  31. Heh, I remember trying to convince Richard Tol that the science wasn’t settled over at Tom Fuller’s old place.
    ============

  32. On this schematic of ocean currents, cold water heading north to offshore Alaska reverses direction becomes classed as hot and heads South against an unfavourable thermal gradient.
    This puzzling feature is on most circulation maps.
    No doubt the maps are simplified, but are they not wrong if they have this seeming error?
    Geoff.

    • Geoff,
      As best I can tell, they took the bits and pieces of the surface circulations they needed to close the loop, neglecting the hydrological effect of cold water redistributing itself below the thermocline in response to sinking cold water at the poles, pushing tropical waters up to offset the latitudinal difference between precipitation and evaporation. Of course, much of the loop is hypothetical, very slow and hard to measure.
      To conceptualize how it works at a more perceptible scale, consider a pool of mercury with a layer of water floating above it. If you add drops of mercury in one corner, does that corner accumulate the new mercury or does it redistribute along the entire boundary between the mercury and water? Gravity works on the ocean is the same, except that the relative density differences are far smaller and the scale is far larger.

    • Yes, Goeff, the maps of ocean currents produced by “climate scientists” are almost invariably wrong in vital respects, despite efforts by expert oceanographers such as Carl Wunsch to expose the errors and debunk the specious speculations. But skeptics here seem no less inclined to miscomprehend both the kinematics and the dynamics, with origins of the Gulf Stream imagined off the west coast of Africa and the Coriolis force misattributed as the driver. No one seems lietrate in dynamical oceanography, yet everyone has an ill-founded opinion of its workings.

  33. Of course cooling is more harmful than warming. I’ve also been trying to convince Richard Tol for years that there is no upper limit to the benefits of warming that man can do by breaking the hydrocarbon bonds in fossil fuels. The uses of fossil fuels have been, are and will continue to be of massive net benefit to humanity, its society and culture, to the whole biome, and, by Gaia, probably to the Earth itself..
    Add to that the fact that we are in the ebbing stages of the Holocene, and we’ve just recovered from the coldest depths of this interglacial. We had better hope that the recovery has been primarily natural, for if man is responsible for the bulk of the warming, then we are running out of fuel.
    ==============

  34. Europe will be spared the worst economic impacts of climate change by a slowing down of the Gulf Stream, new research predicts.
    =
    How about nuclear war NATO is preparing?

  35. The paper says on page 3, “In this set-up, the THC shutdown is not caused by internally consistent physical processes in the model. Instead, additional fresh water is added to the North Atlantic, like a Death Star suddenly appearing in the sky and hosing down water. … Three of the models consider a freshwater input of 0.1 Sv [0.1 SV = 100,000 m3/s] near Greenland … This implies a slowdown of the THC of 27 ± 14%”. Then, “Note that the models agree on the sign of the temperature change for only 70 out of 155 countries.”
    This THC slowdown is not caused by GHG warming melting the Greenland ice cap, but by a Death Star. So, how is this useful? Don’t the models already include ice cap melting, so why is a Death Star required?

  36. Somehow heat will stop flowing from warm places to colder places. A New Thermodynamics is being developed. Genius! Absolute Genius!
    Oh, wait ….

  37. The thermohaline circulation shut down during the Younger Dryas only because a huge flood of cold, fresh water was dumped into the Atlantic. At least that’s the most promising hypothesis. The Laurentide ice sheet was far, far larger than Greenland’s potential contribution. No way is Greenland threatening to do the same thing. It simply does not have enough ice. Perhaps if you set off several nukes and melted Greenland’s ice cover in one moment, that might be enough to do some real damage.
    But change is inevitable. We have to get our heads out of the ice and realize that cold is far worse than warming. We either have to prepare for the next glacial period of the current Ice Age, or end the Ice Age altogether. We currently already live in an Ice Age. How is that possible? Because those 2 little white things at the poles persist throughout the year. Let’s not be sloppy with our terms. Calling our current interglacial the “Holocene” did not magically make the Ice Age disappear. The Holocene is merely the latest in a long series of interglacials separating the glacial periods of the CURRENT Ice Age. Golly! Why is this so hard for people to understand. We live in an ongoing Ice Age. Global Warming is the SOLUTION!
    All changes will cause some problems. But cold will cause far greater problems. Fearing warmth because it might melt some ice is like a hungry man fearing food.

  38. Three new climate studies indicate that our long-held belief about the Gulf Stream’s role in tempering Europe’s winters may not be correct. Yet the studies themselves do not agree.
    From SCI AM. Yeh I know its crap but so is this science.

  39. Press release now corrected.
    Note that this is an economics paper in an economics journal. We take the climate models and scenarios as given (albeit with some editorializing) and study the economic implications of alternative futures.
    You’re welcome to bitch what you like about the climate science, but it has nothing to do with us.

    • …not true Richard
      Climate science is all over the place…..you had to pick and choose which models and scenarios

      • …and you choose the conditions….exactly my point
        Not saying it’s a good or bad choice….only that someone had to choose

  40. These series of images will show you the REAL Gulf Stream (not the climate change Gulf Stream but the actual real one).
    It starts right next to Africa in the Equatorial Atlantic. It is driven by the Trade Winds just like the ENSO is in the equatorial Pacific.
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/equatlspdcurnowcast.gif
    It then runs up against the South American coast and gets deflected north-west by the shape of the continental shelf here (just like all the Ocean Gyres do on the rest of the planet).
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/nbrazlspdcurnowcast.gif
    It then moves into the InterAmerican Seas and the Gulf of Mexico where it follows the mid-depth ocean channels. The ocean needs to be about 200 metres deep for a good ocean current like the Gulf Stream to flow and it seeks out these little choke-points in the Caribbean Islands and the west-side of Cuba and the flow stream next to Florida. It is squeezed in by the Bahama Islands because it is too shallow here. The Gulf Stream will often form a loop in the Gulf of Mexico because there is just enough ocean depth here to allow the flow to continue in a loop. It is going to continue flowing because there is the weight of ALL that water flowing in behind starting all the way next to Africa. The pressure keeps it moving.
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/intramspdcurnowcast.gif
    Topography. Note the areas which are just that little bit deeper here that allow the flow to continue but it is squeezed in wherever the continental shelf gets too shallow.
    http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/atlantic/img_topo2/florida2.jpg
    It then flows out into the Atlantic, changing course to the north-east now because the prevailing winds in the mid-latitudes are now west-to-east versus at the tropics latitudes where they are east-to-west.
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/glfstrspdcurnowcast.gif
    The warmth of the Gulf Stream (starting at the equator next to Africa) now flows all the way up into the Arctic Ocean north of Russia keeping even Nova Zemlya Islands warmer than they really should be.
    Now the Gulf Stream is less like a tight current but more of a general movement of ocean, the North Atlantic Drift and it literally flows right into the entire Arctic Ocean basin. It DOES NOT stop here and cool off and sink like climate science thinks That is a big myth. The ocean does not do ANY sinking until it is right under the sea ice in the Arctic Ocean basin. It then spends HUNDREDS OF YEARS in the Arctic Ocean basin at the bottom at 4000 metres depth when it is finally pushed out by all the sinking water above become part of the bottom water in the AMOC.
    http://www7320.nrlssc.navy.mil/GLBhycom1-12/navo/arcticsstnowcast.gif
    http://90-north.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/bathymetric_map_Arctic_Ocean.jpg
    http://ars.els-cdn.com/content/image/1-s2.0-S0012821X15001442-gr001.jpg

  41. Anthony,
    The following statement in the article by Tol on circulation patterns of ocean currents worldwide is
    not correct:
    “…where evaporation decreases salinity and density so that the water sinks…”
    I assert that as water vapor escapes from the surface of a given volume of salt water, its salinity increases
    and with it the density also increases thus accounting for heavier water to sink. The statement is rectified simply by changing “decreases” to read “increases.”
    WD

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