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Thursday, December 01, 2005

Ocean Changes to Cool Europe

Now, I may not be any kind of expert, however, one of the reasons given for the increase in storm phenomenon hitting the Canary Islands lately has been the warming of the waters around the islands. Without (or with less) cold water from the Gulf Stream coming down from the north, I feel sure that this is related.

This BBC article, also notes that "... in 2004, we have a larger circulating current [in the tropical Atlantic] ...", which seems, to me anyway, just the perfect conveyor belt system to have brought these recent storms our way.

Could it be, that as the Gulf Stream weakens and Europe cools, that the Canary Islands will become more "tropical"? By which I mean, not just warmer, but more prone to extreme weather conditions, such as we have seen this week.

Experience over the last five years, which has seen one after another "never been seen before, surprise" weather phenomenon thrown at the islands (things I had certainly not thought I would possibly see here 10 years ago), would seem to suggest that this is happening - whatever the scientific reason.

In which case, the Canary Islands would lose their reputation as the "Islands of Eternal Spring", gained from the constant warm (no extremes) climate they have enjoyed historically and become what? "Islands of Eternal Surprise"?

That's putting it politely. Eternal chaos may be more apt. Effects on nature are are too complex for my poor little brain, but it is clear to anyone that infrastructure and building methods were never thought with this eventuality in mind.

We have to trust that Oceanography Centres talk to Hurricane Centers and that governments will pay heed, in time, to the changing circumstances. Householders too will have to reassess the readiness of dwellings to deal with whatever is thrown at them in future, including heating, cooling, windproofing and insurance.

It's clear that we need some honest answers and some expert advice. Now.

Ocean changes to cool Europe

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