Will Global Warming Lead To Arctic Winter?
Disturbing reports in creditable journals suggest that a theory of an arctic winter, brought on
by global warming, may be starting to happen.
The Washington Post on Aug. 7 published a report that swimmers, fishermen and surfers along
the Atlantic coast are complaining that the water is unusually frigid this summer (2003). The phenomenon has scientists baffled,
the story said.
And New Scientist.com reports that a decade-long storm of galactic dust is entering our Solar System and some scientists worry that
it might be thick enough to effect the sun's warming of the Earth. They ask if a storm like this caused the past ice ages
and mass extinction.
The Post story noted that the Atlantic coastal water temperatures remained about normal, in the
low 70s, during July, but then dropped sharply and unexpectedly by about 10 degrees at about the end of the month.
The same chill is reported from Virginia Beach, North Carolina, to Daytona Beach, Florida. The National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is investigating.
Dr. Warren Washington, senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado, is quoted on the Environmental
News Service web site as saying the warming could have abrupt effects in global climate. He said the melting of glaciers and
increase in fresh water in the North Atlantic "may change the transport of warm water in the Gulf Stream."
Whitley Strieber and Art Bell predicted this effect in their book The Coming Global Superstorm. In their book, Strieber and Bell said scientific evidence suggests that before the last ice age started, there
was a buildup of methane gas in the atmosphere that slowly caused the planet to heat. Once the planet reached a certain temperature,
there was a sudden release of the methane from the oceans and land, which caused a dramatic temperature spike.
They say the irony of the heat is that the melting ice caps not only floods the planet, but lowers
the salt content of the North Atlantic. This causes an alteration in the speed and direction of the Gulf Stream and other
natural ocean currents that keep world climates stable.
Geology professors Howard Spero of UC Davis and David Lea of UC Santa Barbara issued a report last
year in "Science," that supports Bell and Strieber's theory.
Their article, titled, "The Cause of Carbon Isotope Minimum Events on Glacial Terminations," links global warming to shifts
on deep ocean currents.
"An understanding of the relative timing of this event is critical because the greenhouse
gases that humans are producing are likely to affect not only the warming of the atmosphere but also the circulation of the
oceans," Spero said in a story released by University Of California - Davis. "Changes in atmospheric temperature can have
immense effects on the flow of the deep ocean currents, which in turn can affect weather and climate worldwide."
Terrence Joyce, senior scientist at the prestigious Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, recently developed
a theory that links this gaseous heating of the planet to the onset of a possible ice age.
His article in the
New York Times, titled "The Heat Before the Cold," warns: "paradoxically, global warming could actually bring colder temperatures
to some highly populated areas like Eastern North America and Western Europe."
Joyce said there has been a gradual
buildup of fresh water in the North Atlantic, caused by the melting Arctic ice, which is lowering the salt content of the
ocean. This, in turn, threatens to slow or turn the ocean current of warm water that flows from the tropics northward along
the East Coast of the United States before turning toward Europe.
Peculiar activity by the Sun, and the influx of the solar dust cloud seems to be timed almost perfectly
to assure that an ice age, if it happens, will be severe enough to destroy life without wrecking the Earth.
In the past the magnetic field of the Sun acted like a shield, deflecting the electronically charged
galactic dust away from our Solar System. But the Sun's cycle of activity has changed. Not only is it burning hotter, but
the Sun shifted its magnetic field, going through a complete pole shift a few years ago.
Now, instead of deflecting the galactic dust, the magnetic field seems to be channeling the dust
in our direction!
A NASA research vessel Ulysses launched in 1990, has been measuring cosmic dust. According to Markus
Landgraf and his colleagues at the Max-Planck-Instutute in Heidelberg, three times more galactic dust is now entering the
Solar System than 10 years ago.
Some scientists suggest that the dust will have an affect on the Earth's atmosphere and may be the
cause of the next ice age.