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Thursday, December 01, 2005

The Gulf Stream Current is Weakening!!!! We're All Gonna Die!!!!!

Well, maybe not. In fact, probably not. With scare stories like this, it is vital that you read the whole story. For this one, the most important line is NOT this, the very first paragraph of the story:
The powerful ocean current that bathes Britain and northern Europe in warm waters from the tropics has weakened dramatically in recent years, a consequence of global warming that could trigger more severe winters and cooler summers across the region, scientists warn today.
But this, at paragraph 12 and 13:
Chris West, director of the UK climate impacts programme at Oxford University's centre for the environment, said: "The only way computer models have managed to simulate an entire shutdown of the current is to magic into existence millions of tonnes of fresh water and dump it in the Atlantic. It's not clear where that water could ever come from, even taking into account increased Greenland melting."

Uncertainties in climate change models mean that the overall impact on Britain of a slowing down in the current are hard to pin down. "We know that if the current slows down, it will lead to a drop in temperatures in Britain and northern Europe of a few degrees, but the effect isn't even over the seasons. Most of the cooling would be in the winter, so the biggest impact would be much colder winters," said Tim Osborn, of the University of East Anglia climatic research unit.
"Uncertainties in computer change models." Translation: What you put in to a computer, Including the assumptions of the climatologist doing the study, is what you will get out. If you believe in global warming, you will invariably get models that prove your theory. Now, be honest, would you have read all the way to paragraph 12 on your own? Most people, including the journalists who will repeat this story, wouldn't have.

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