Global warming is to blame.
According to the next issue of the journal Nature Geoscience, studies show that the Gulf Stream has slowed by 10-20%, and that it is now weaker than it has been in 1,600 years. This change is down to global warming, with warmer seas and the North Pole melting at an alarming rate. [Photo: keyscience]
The possibility that the Gulf Stream could stop entirely sometime in the future is there, and this would have huge impacts on the Nordic countries as a whole. The Gulf Stream is largely responsible for our temperate climate here, bringing warm currents of water that create sunny summers and cold, but reasonable winters. Nordic countries would be far colder without it and temperatures could drop to -50°C if Sweden if the Gulf Stream bids us farewell.
The Gulf Stream comes from the Gulf of Mexico, bringing huge currents of warm water North. The water returns South once it has been cooled by the cold, salty water it encounters in the North. However, it is much harder for this process to take place when Arctic waters are warmer than ever and less salty because of the pools of water that melt into the sea, diluting it. We are all aware of the ways in which weather can and has been impacted by global warming but winter temperatures of -50°C would bring treacherous conditions to Sweden.