A Danish climatologist is pouring cold water over another misleading global warming claim.
Thermographic images released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) last year showed a mysterious blue blob of cold seawater off the coast of southern Greenland and Iceland. At the time, researchers said the cold blob was likely the result of melting from Greenland’s vast ice sheet, with cold water flowing into the nearby Labrador Sea.
This meltwater was presumed to have slowed the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), or Gulf Stream, that sustains temperate weather in much of western Europe, our East Coast, and the UK.
— DMI (@dmidk) July 7, 2016
One of the first researchers at the trough of misinformation was Prof. Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State (and “Hockey Stick” fame), who told the Washington Post that this North Atlantic cold blob happened to fit with his just-published study. Mann also suggested that a “dramatic melting” of Greenland’s ice sheet would slow or stop the AMOC, sending the world into an abrupt climate shift as seen in the climatastrophe flick The Day After Tomorrow.
But Tor Eldevik, a Norwegian climate researcher and professor, subsequently told the newspaper Aftenposten in March 2016 that he was “not convinced that the blue blob was caused by melting Greenlandic ice.” Or that it was slowing the Gulf Stream.
Eldevik said that affecting the AMOC would require vast amounts of freshwater coming into contact with more saline ocean water, which would dramatically change salinity levels and possibly slow the current down. That theory might make sense, Eldevik said, except the currents around Greenland simply aren’t strong enough, or large enough, to slow or stop the Gulf Stream.