GULF STREAM (Syllabus: GS Paper 1 – Geography)

News-CRUX-10     17th February 2024        

Context: A recent scientific study estimates a timescale for the collapse of the Gulf Stream between 2025 and 2095, with a central estimate of 2050, if global carbon emissions are not reduced.

Gulf of Stream

  • About: It is an ocean current that carries warm water up the eastern coast of the United states and Canada and on to western Europe.
  • Influence on Florida's Climate: The Gulf Stream affects the climate of Florida's east coast, maintaining warmer winters and cooler summers compared to neighboring southeastern states.
  • European Impact of the Gulf Stream: Extending towards Europe, the Gulf Stream contributes to warming western European countries, altering their climate significantly.
  • England's Climate and the Gulf Stream: Despite its northern latitude similar to cold regions of Canada, England experiences a much warmer climate, largely due to the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.
  • Causes the Gulf Stream: Large system of circular currents and powerful winds, called an oceanic gyre. There are five oceanic gyres on Earth. The Gulf Stream is part of the North Atlantic Subtropical Gyre.
  • Ocean Dynamics: The ocean is a dynamic system characterized by continuous movement and circulation.
  • Warmth from the Gulf to Norway: The Gulf Stream transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Norwegian Sea.
  • Thermohaline Circulation: Colder, denser water sinks as warm water flows in, initiating thermohaline circulation.
  • Southward Flow: The denser water eventually flows southward, reaching the depths of the ocean and traveling towards Antarctica.

Other Ocean Currents

  • Labrador Current, North Equatorial Current, North Equatorial Counter Current (NECC), South Equatorial Current, South Equatorial Counter Current (SECC), Kuroshio Current, Alaska Current and California Current.