As reported by the Washington Post, a patch of the Atlantic Ocean, south of Greenland and Iceland, has experienced unusually cold temperatures for the last eight months. Several prominent climate scientists say it’s the result of Greenland’s melting glaciers, which dump fresh water in the ocean. And it’s ruining the Atlantic’s circulation.
In March, several top climate scientists, including Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research and Michael Mann of Penn State, published a paper in Nature Climate Change suggesting that the gigantic ocean current known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC, is weakening. It’s sometimes confused with the “Gulf Stream,” but, in fact, that’s just a southern branch of it.
The result of this strange cold spot will not be The Day After Tomorrow, according to the Post. But it could still create some pretty significant consequences, including rising seas along the U.S. East Coast and a difference in temperature in the North Atlantic and Europe.
The discovery of the cold blob the Atlantic comes as the earth just registered its hottest August, hottest summer, and hottest eights months ever recorded. Meanwhile, in the Pacific Ocean, there’s a long, skinny blob of unusually warm water off the West Coast, stretching from Mexico to Alaska. It’s now encroaching on Washington’s Puget Sound and, according to one study, the reason why the U.S. has experienced such wacky weather this year.
The Atlantic cold blob is near Greenland.