BARCELONA – Scientists were shocked to find that the deep waters of the Atlantic Ocean have shifted directions!
Scientists studying the Atlantic Ocean were shocked to discover yesterday that for some unknown reason the deep waters of the ocean have reversed their direction of flow. This hasn’t happened since the beginning of the last ice age!
Instead of heading southward as they usually do, these abyssal waters are now flowing northward a new study suggests.
The change in flow could have accompanied profound changes in climate, researchers explained. It may be evidence of Global Cooling!
In the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream brings warm surface water from the tropics to high latitudes, where it cools, sinks and flows southward in the deep ocean. The way that water flows in the ocean helps redistribute large amounts of heat – and in this way is critical to how the world’s climate works.
Contradictory lines of evidence from during the cold peak of the ice age – the last glacial maximum – make it difficult for scientists to determine whether this ocean circulation was strongly or weakly in any particular direction back then.
But now… the Atlantic Ocean has clearly shifted directions!! What does it mean?
To reach these conclusions, scientists investigated a pillar of sediment roughly 128 feet (39 meters) long, extracted from the seafloor by use of a ship off the coast of the tip of Africa under about 8,000 feet (2,440 m) of water. The upper 15 feet (5 m) or so of this core sample contains material reflecting ocean conditions over the last 50,000 years.
“It is very tricky to take such long cores from such depth without breaking the metal tube in the open ocean, which usually has bad weather conditions,” said researcher Juan Magrita, a paleoceanographer at the Autonomous University of Barcelona in Spain. However, the staff onboard the vessel, the Juanita Dafania, were very expert, he noted.
Scientists across the globe are scrambling to determine why the Atlantic Ocean is switching direction. “This could have catastrophic implications for people living on both sides of the Atlantic. This is a dangerous global problem, one that the nations of the world have to act together to correct, if we can.” said Professor Jacob Jabolin of Harvard University.
Of course, surfers are rushing to the beaches on both sides of the Atlantic… trying to take advantage of the waves that come from the switch. “No matter which way the ocean flows, surfers are always crazy,” said Jabolin.