Why Arctic sea ice loss could make Western Europe colder

Changes to the Beaufort Gyre, a major Arctic Ocean current, could have widespread impacts.

By Reuters - February 11, 2020

A new NASA study says that human-caused climate change is rapidly melting Arctic ice and disrupting ocean currents — which could make Western Europe cooler.

The new study was conducted over 12 years and published this month in the journal Nature Communication.

The Beaufort Gyre is a current that previously kept the Arctic waters cold and protected sea ice.

However, the glut of cold fresh water is making the gyre spin stronger and faster, and the natural reversal of the spin’s direction has not happened for more than 10 years.

Researchers say that if the westerly wind guiding the current should reverse its direction now, the cold water build up could be unleashed at all once.

The cold tide may well slow down the Atlantic currents that bring warmth to Western Europe.

Citing the researchers, NASA says in its news release that disruptions to the Gulf Stream would have a negative impact on ocean life and the communities that depend on them.

(Video by Next Animation Studio.)