Sunday, September 24, 2017

Global Warming Will Freeze Europe.

Theory:  noun, plural theories.
A statement that explains observed observations and predicts future observations.  A theory is repeatedly tested; if new observations do not agree with the stated theory then the theory will be modified or replaced.
            Newton’s theory of gravitation which was replaced by Einstein’s upon further observations. 
            Darwin’s theory of evolution which replaced those of Lamarck and others and has been 
                        modified through the study of genetics.
            Kepler’s theory of planetary motion which explains the orbits of planets and allows 
                        us to predict where new planets may be found.
            The germ theory of disease which replaced various superstitions concerning the 
                        cause of diseases.

The scientific theory of climate change explains the rapid increase in the average temperature of the atmosphere and allows the prediction of what will happen because of it. 

As an example, my students learned (I hope) about how water moves north and south in the oceans.  The start of the ocean currents is the freezing of the ocean in the arctic near Greenland.  Only pure water freezes;  the very salty and cold remainder sinks to the bottom of the ocean.  From there the water travels south, cooling the tropical oceans as it goes.

The water finally reaches the Gulf of Mexico, where it flows back along the surface to the arctic as the Gulf Stream.  It is this warm Gulf Stream that keeps the United Kingdom and northern Europe much warmer than it otherwise would be.  In fact, Iceland is warmer in January than Connecticut is.

The polar ice, then and now.  From NASA
An article published in Nature magazine ( indicates that the freezing up north is slowing down.  Satellite image records indicate that September Arctic sea ice is 30% less today than it was in 1979.  

The obvious prediction is that when the arctic stops freezing, the currents will stop exchanging cold water from the north with warm water from the south and Europe will freeze.  Yes, “global warming” means that it will be colder up north.  Of course the ocean will also be warmer at the equator (so we can predict more powerful hurricanes).

Science:  it doesn’t only predict eclipses.

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