Climate at a Glance: Ocean Currents

The great ocean conveyor moves water around the globe. Cold, salty water is dense and sinks to the bottom of the ocean while warm water is less dense and remains on the surface. Image: NOAA

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Bullet-Point Summary:

  • For approximately 20 years, alarmists have claimed global warming was causing ocean currents to slow down to their slowest pace in over 1,000 years.
  • Alarmists claimed their climate change computer models predicted the slowdown.
  • Alarmists claimed a slowdown would cause disastrous consequences on marine life and might cause a disastrous mini-ice age, as dramatized in the Hollywood movie, The Day After Tomorrow.
  • The most recent peer-reviewed research falsifies this long-claimed climate crisis, showing that ocean currents have been speeding up throughout the past 20 years, not slowing down.
  • Alarmists now claim their computer models predicted this acceleration all along.

Short Summary: For the past 20 years, alarmists have claimed the ocean currents are slowing down and global warming is to blame. Alarmists backed up their claims with computer models they claimed predicted and replicated the slowdown. Slower ocean currents, they claimed, would alter African and Indian rainfall patterns and impact Atlantic hurricanes. As recently as 2019, alarmist “studies” claimed ocean currents had declined to their slowest pace in 1,600 years.

The latest scientific research, however, shows ocean currents have actually been speeding up during the entire time that alarmists claimed global warming was causing slowing ocean currents. Now that evidence shows no slowdown happened, alarmists claim their computer models have always predicted that global warming would cause faster ocean currents.

Alarmists can’t have it both ways, and they lose all credibility by trying to change their story. Ocean currents could not have been both slowing down to record lows during the past 20 years while also speeding up at the same time. When alarmists thought ocean currents were slowing down, they told us this was disastrous and their computer models predicted this would happen due to global warming. Now that we know ocean currents have actually been speeding up, they tell us this is disastrous and their computer models predicted global warming would cause accelerating ocean currents. Alarmists once again are dishonestly altering their claimed “crisis” to fit the evolving scientific evidence.


Climate At A Glance is a Project of The Heartland Institute

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