Did you ever get the chance to see that Dennis Quaid movie, The Day After Tomorrow? It was a frightening tale of our world being reshaped in the span of around 72 hours. Reshaped you say, in what way?
As the story goes, the scientist Quaid discovers that numerous supercell storms are forming over various parts of the globe and their effects will be cataclysmic to the human race. Entire parts of the planet are sent back into a proverbial Ice Age and millions of people perish as a result of the frigid temperatures and snow and ice that now cover the planet. However after an hour and a half you get to walk out and think, “It can’t happen for real, can it?”
It’s a scary thing to think about, but you some how reconcile in your mind that it’s just a movie. Or is it? Are we starting to see changes afoot that could be leading us down the path to another Ice Age? Seems far fetched, but if you choose to listen to forecasters that are doing predictions for Europe this winter, thoughts of that movie might be sneaking up in your mind. But where are these thoughts originating from and is there really any scientific basis behind them? Or is this just a reaction to the quite above average heat that parts of Europe that usually do not see this type of weather, got this past season.
According to these scientists who do the forecasting, there is a basis for validity of their statements. They cite as proof the changing condition of the speed of the Gulf Stream. Now here’s betting you’re out there thinking, what in the bloody world does the speed of the Gulf Stream, which is back near the United States, have to do with frigid temperatures. Well these forecasters have observed the Gulf Stream for the past few years and its speed has dissipated substantially, having been cut in half over a period of just a few years.
What does that mean your wondering? Well the Gulf Stream is like a great regulator if you will. Its warm air is funneled to places like Europe during the winter to help to balance out the cold winter air that is naturally flowing towards it from its close neighbor, the Artic. Now it still gets cold in Europe, but at least that Gulf flow keeps the temperatures somewhat manageable for the residents of those countries. Now with the Gulf Stream speed slowing down, you are now starting to see weird temperature swings such as the abnormal heat this summer in Russia. Well at the rate its going, the Gulf Stream speed will be gone in a relatively short time and that is what they say will lead to the next “Ice Age” in Europe.
We hear so much about global warming, its effects, and what can happen if we don’t do something about it. Well, you don’t read where this particular thing is being pushed by the global warming trend, but it does give you pause. Some people also say that the world cycle in cyclical in nature and that we are due for another Ice Age. If that’s the case, it will give a whole new meaning to, “Baby, its cold outside!”