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Changes in the Gulf Stream

By Cruising World Magazine — last modified Aug 09, 2018 10:49 PM
A pair of new reports show a major ocean current is slowing down.

Published: 2018-07-20 00:00:00
Topics: Weather
Countries: USA

Crossing the Gulf Stream is a rite of passage for many East Coast offshore sailors. I’ll never forget my first time. The Stream seems to generate its own weather, and the precipitous clouds on the horizon ahead were the initial clue that we were approaching. Then there was the sudden spike in the temperature of the ocean, up into the high 70s, as confirmed by the boat’s seawater thermometer. The water itself shifted to a darker shade of blue, flecked with yellow patches of sargassum. And with a slight northerly breeze (thank God it was slight) leaning into the northward flowing current, the waves stood up into a progression of steep but reasonable, negotiable hills, the boat rising and falling with their flow. It was all very memorable. The Gulf Stream, the so-called “river in the sea” that trucks along in places at a good 4 to 5 knots, is truly a force of nature.

And, remarkably, it is also slowing down.

Read the full report at

warren long
warren long says:
Aug 05, 2018 12:07 PM

I find it interesting that the amoc slowdown began 150 yrs ago, some 50 yrs after we started burning tons of coal (a half a terra ton since 1800). SLR along the east coast is from the N. Atlantic flattening (normal sea surface height in the center of the N. Atlantic is as much as one meter higher than along the coast due to the boundary currents). I find it interesting that for the last 11K yrs the current was stable and now it's not, so much of our planet is changing.

Circumnavigator 1999-2001....S/V Horizon

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