Could a cold "blob" in the Atlantic Ocean trigger the wild Ice Age scenario created by Hollywood in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow?"
While some of the elements depicted in the movie are in play, the short answer is no. We aren't going to see New York City freeze over.
But the area of colder than usual temperatures found near Greenland is concerning scientists because it may be representing a slowing of the ocean's circulation, said the Washington Post
That climate scenario is "quite loosely based" on what created the Ice Age situation in the movie that also caused tornadoes in Los Angeles and killer hail in Tokyo. No worries, though, said the Post's Chris Mooney.
"This won't lead to anything remotely like 'The Day After Tomorrow,'" said Mooney. "But if the trend continues, there could be many consequences, including rising seas for the U.S. East Coast and possibly a difference in temperature overall in the North Atlantic and Europe."
Researchers Michael Mann of Penn State and Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research told the Post that the "cold blob" pattern in an otherwise record hot year is a sign that the ocean's "meridional overturning circulation" could be slowing down.
The cold anomaly sticks out particularly when most other places on the planet are experiencing higher than normal temperatures this year, said CNN
"You may not expect to see such a pronounced cooling that far north," said CNN's Dave Hennen. "After all, we know that most of the documented climate change has impacted the poles much more than equatorial regions. Greenland is home to an enormous sheet of ice."
"In fact, if you combine the ice sheets of Antarctica and Greenland, you will find 99 percent of the freshwater ice on Earth. Scientists believe it is the melting of ice in Greenland that is causing the cold anomaly," said Hennen.
Scientists first saw the blob forming the past couple of years, bucking the warming trend happening over the Pacific Ocean. Researchers credited an El Nino, a natural process where warm water washes over the central Pacific and stretches to South America, for the warming trend in the Pacific Ocean.
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