I was looking up Sarasota, Florida and one thing lead to something else entirely, which seems to be a pattern…
First I got a look at the Seminole Indians, who have very straight European noses and look more Basque than Asian
Then I wandered…
Into the Loop Current. More on that below and some rampant speculation.
Which ended at this interesting temperature map of The Gulf Of Mexico and Florida waters from the U.S. Navy. Interesting side bar being that they map where it is just too damn shallow to take any real ship, and overlay the actual “coastline” on that.
First off, this has an interesting capture of a loop current where that warm water rises up into the Gulf of Mexico between Yucatan and Cuba and puts that green blob off the west coast of Florida. Sometimes it is there, sometimes not. This matters for hurricane formation among other things.
But the next thing I noticed was that there is a roughly 12 degree F range in about 25 degrees of latitude to the Sea Surface Temperature SST. In some parts of the map, 5 F in 10 Lat.
Now IF a “well mixed gas” like CO2 were driving temperatures, would they range over 5 F in 10 degrees? Really? Since SST drives land temps for anything near water, and Florida is very much driven by the surrounding water, the land temps will show similar (though more widely ranging) variation with latitude. Which leaves me wondering:
Is temperature driven by a Magic Gas in the air, or by insolation with latitude? This map seems to show strong banding with latitude and strong correlation with ocean currents. Gas not so much.
To understand temperatures on land, you really MUST look at latitude, insolation, and ocean currents.
The Loop Current
There’s an interesting phenomenon where a warm “loop” rises up into the Gulf of Mexico. From that Wunderground link above:
The Gulf of Mexico Loop Current: A Primer
By Jeffrey Masters, Ph.D. — Director of Meteorology, Weather Underground, Inc.
The Loop Current is an ocean current that transports warm Caribbean water through the Yucatan Channel between Cuba and Mexico. The current flows northward into the Gulf of Mexico, then loops southeastward just south of the Florida Keys (where it is called the Florida Current), and then just west of the westernmost Bahamas. Here, the waters of the Loop Current flow northward along the U.S. coast and become the Gulf Stream. With current speeds of about 0.8 m/s, the Loop Current is one of the fastest currents in the Atlantic Ocean. The current is about 200 – 300 km (125 – 190 miles) wide, and 800 meters (2600 feet) deep, and is present in the Gulf of Mexico about 95% of the time. During summer and fall, the Loop Current provides a deep (80 – 150 meter) layer of vary warm water that can provide a huge energy source for any lucky hurricanes that might cross over.
Now the Gulf Stream eventually reaches Europe and the Arctic regions where it keeps things much warmer than otherwise. All that loverly tropical sunshine warming all that Caribbean water ends up deposited in Merry Olde England and surrounding.
So what happens during an Ice Age Glacial?
From that wiki on Sarasota:
First off, all those shallow shelf areas become land. No longer collecting solar energy into the Gulf Stream, but instead putting it into the air. That is one heck of a lot of energy NOT going to the UK or the Arctic.
Second, a broad swath of area for shallow currents is cut off. I have no idea what the water flows would look like then, nor I suspect does anyone else. It becomes a very different hydrological feature then; one with global impact. I do think it is fair to say that the Gulf Stream would be far weaker and with much less heat in it, given the reduction on collecting area and channels for heat driven current flow.
I would guess that the loop current stops, and that the flow of energy to the arctic is drastically cut down. Perhaps that is part of the mechanism (and maybe a key part?) of the hysteresis that puts us into an Ice Age Glacial state instead of a interglacial. Rampant speculation, I know. BUT, that is one heck of a lot of water NOT warming and NOT melting ice at the north pole.
There is evidence of icebergs ploughing grooves into the mud off the Atlantic coast of Florida during an Ice Age Glacial. IMHO that is strong evidence that hot water isn’t “going there”. Would an iceburg really swim ‘upstream’ against the Gulf Stream and survive such a hot water bath all the way to Florida? Somthing else is going on in the Atlantic, then.
Icebergs once drifted to Florida, new climate model suggests
October 12, 2014
University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Using a first-of-its-kind, high-resolution numerical model to describe ocean circulation during the last ice age about 21,000 year ago, oceanographers have shown that icebergs and meltwater from the North American ice sheet would have regularly reached South Carolina and even southern Florida. The models are supported by the discovery of iceberg scour marks on the sea floor along the entire continental shelf.
Much of the rest of that article is rampant computer speculation (i.e. models) about meltwater and changes in ocean currents. Hit the link to read it.
For me, what matters is those marks on the ocean floor.
IMHO, a key driver of the oscillation between ice age Glacial and Interglacial states must be the change in warm tropical water flows to the Arctic. For that, Florida, and the Gulf of Mexico, hydrological changes with sea level drop must be important.
What is also very clear from that SST map, is that temperatures are controlled by currents (note the hotter Pacific side of Panama where currents do not take the heat away to Europe…), latitude (note the nice temperature banding with latitude on the Atlantic side), and insolation (it changes with season, not shown). Again, CO2 not so much…
I have seen these thesis before. What I am wondering is HOW we enter an interglacial. Once the heat stops moving, something has to melt the ice to flood the low areas and get it moving again. Once they have that piece, I think they will be a lot closer to understanding weather.
FWIW, I’ve looked into that and I think it is much higher insolation 65 N leading to move ocean evaporation leading to more RAIN on the ice pack leading to rapid melting. It’s the precipitation what does it, IMHO… shifting from snow to rain.
Ok, but how does the precipitation change from snow to rain without the currents to bring warm equatorial water farther north to raise the temperature to cause the shift?
And what should we do to prevent the next ice age? Carbon black on the ice and snow?
I have a question for you.
Steve Mosher is always saying “give me the Latitude and Elevation and I can predict the Temp”.
I have challenged him a few times with real world data and he never responds.
The question is why does North Africa at about 25 North vary from around 35 degrees on the West Coast to 39 degrees just inland and then reduce to 29 degrees in the middle of the continent. But if you go aroung the world at 25 degrees North the Temperature is much lower down to 21 degrees, even on the coasts in a lot of places. The sea off the West coast about 24 degrees.
The only place hotter at 25 lat at the moment is Suadi Arabia at 41 degrees.
Why is North Africa & Suadi so hot in comparsion to the rest of the world at 25 Degrees North, is it because it is so dry?
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Just a suggestion… Look upstream from the loop current to locate how the kinetic energy is applied to the water.
I recently read (on WUWT?) an article that made sense and mixed in the “CO2 follows temps”. Found it: https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/06/28/new-paper-modulation-of-ice-ages-via-precession-and-dust-albedo-feedbacks/
“Now the Gulf Stream eventually reaches Europe and the Arctic regions where it keeps things much warmer than otherwise. All that loverly tropical sunshine warming all that Caribbean water ends up deposited in Merry Olde England and surrounding.”
Have a look:
I’ve often wondered about this Gulf Stream thing in a strictly geographic (spatial) sense. If the image is average for the system (many other images are similar), the warm surface water doesn’t extend past Saint-Pierre, Newfoundland (~53°W) and in the north direction, not past Halifax (~45°N).
Maps do show a “North Atlantic Current” as an extension of the Gulf Stream.
A much closer source of warm water is the outflow from the Mediterranean Sea. This is warm (saline) water that is under the inflow from the Atlantic Ocean. The Coriolis effect suggests this flow should turn to the right, or north.
There are a pair of maps (data & model)
… but I wonder about stuff from PIK. Also, there is no data (apparently) off of Brittany, that is, over the Celtic Sea.
Some of the money spent on green subsidies could be used to fund detailed studies of these two sources of warm water, where they go, and the influences on the atmosphere as it approaches NW Europe.
I think it is a cliché to say “the Gulf Stream” causes so and so, without a more through examination. It is claimed that Ben Franklin measured this on a trip back from London. I’ve not seen any specifics of what he did, where he started measuring and the like. It makes me uncomfortable to go up against ol’Ben (or you) on this issue, but I’d like to know more.
There are small anoxic basins in the Gulf where sediments accumulate at high rates and are undisturbed by bioturbation. You can see some indication of them in the 3D image above. These would be excellent places for taking sediment cores and generating proxy records (chemistry, planktonic fossils) to investigate changes between glacial and interglacial regimes.
Thanks Regis! I try to read WUWT normally, but missed that one (must have been when global warming blew down 2 50 year old trees in my yard. ;-) )
I think the gulf stream flow can mostly be explained by the global surface wind field over the Atlantic from Spain to Cuba and along the Atlantic coast of the US.
There is a broad wind flow that sweeps across that stretch of the central Atlantic that pushes warm water toward the Caribbean. I suspect it “stacks up” warm water like a storm surge in the Caribbean basin and stops outflow to the south east past northern South America and it has an outlet flowing north (with the local wind flow) along the eastern seaboard of the US. There a combination of wind and backfill for sinking cold polar waters to the north pulls that stream up toward the UK and Greenland.
The rapid temperature gradient mentioned is probably strongly affected by the rather shallow depth of much of the gulf. Solar heating can heat almost the entire water column when the ocean depth is shallow without any tempering of that heating by deep cooler water below.
In addition to the increased elevation of water due to the easterly winds over the mid atlantic you have the “push” of water from the Missippii filling that closed basin from near New Orleans. That water also wants to flow out of the basin and the quickest most direct exit to the Atlantic is around Florida and north of Cuba through the Florida Straits.
Gulf stream flow is approximately 30 million cubic meters per second, the Mississippi has a typical flow of 7,000–20,000 m3/s so it accounts for from 25% – 66% of the flow of the Gulf stream. Throw in precipitation run off from the entire east coast of Mexico and the Central Americas and you have almost all the gulf stream flow accounted for with westerly flow in the mid Atlantic making up for any difference.
That implies if correct that when the upper Mississippi freezes and run off stops into the gulf it would shut off the majority of the gulf stream flow.
John F. Hultquist – Gulf Stream and the UK/Europe.
Check out https://www.americanscientist.org/issues/pub/the-source-of-europes-mild-climate
“The notion that the Gulf Stream is responsible for keeping Europe anomalously warm turns out to be a myth” Richard Seager
The idea that the Gulf Stream is responsible for Europe’s mild winters seems to have originated with Matthew Fontaine Maury, an American naval officer who in 1855 published The Physical Geography of the Sea, which is often considered the first textbook of physical oceanography. The book was a huge success, went through many printings and was translated into three languages.
Under those glacial conditions you would also change the local wind flows, as a cold adiabatic wind would cascade down off the glacier sheets and out onto the western Atlantic and into the Gulf flowing to the south, probably pushing any outflow from the basin out the southern end of the gulf rather than the Florida straits.
This is perhaps the switch — when solar heating finally gets high enough to shut off that cold adiabatic wind off the ice sheet and begin pushing warm moist air into the interior you have warm rain melting of the ice sheets and sudden outflow of water into the gulf from the Mississippi drainage and that turns on the gulf stream again, and that in turn accelerates the melting as a feed back loop with more warm water off shore on the eastern sea board.
If you look at ocean currents on https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/ocean/surface/currents/overlay=sea_surface_temp/orthographic=-64.20,17.14,690 You will see that the equatorial current is easterly and is forced up the North coast of South America and South of Cuba. When it hits the Yucatan peninsula it flows North and goes the only way it can do loops back down along the West coast of Florida and out as the Florida current. It is the shape of the continents that cause the current to flow North. There is a similar loop back by the equatorial current to Indonesia that then flows North along the Japanese coast but there is no equivalent of the Gulf of Mexico to trap it where is can get far warmer than normal.
@Larry – Just wondering about your numbers. The math does not add up. YOu say:
7,000-20,000 is only a small fraction of 30,000,000. is the 7,000-20,000 supposed to be in thousands of m3/s?
Ooops banged that out as I was leaving for work — never mind lost a few significant digits in my mental math.
I meant easterly but misspoke (see wind map that is general flow “to the west”) in my rush to post before I walked out the door, I used the direction it was “going toward” not the direction it was coming from (oops).
That is exactly the point I was making. Winds flow toward the west in the mid Atlantic and that pushes the currents into that southern end of the Caribbean basin effectively closing it off to outflow (at least at the surface).
There is an interesting science of fluid flow called fluidics (briefly studied as a way to make non-electronic computers) important property studied in that research, is how very small fluid flows entering the side of a larger fluid flow can act like a switch and cause the larger flow to attach or detach from a nearby boundary or setup a blocking vortex which effectively shuts of a nearby flow path.
In my previous post, I was trying to briefly state that that behavior if modulated by the Mississippi flow as the switching flow, could switch how the outflow from the Caribbean basin exits and possibly even the direction of general circulation vortex in the gulf.
The Mississippi flow could act like a fluidic switch and keep that hook current pushed over to the east side of the gulf near Florida and encourage outflow through the Florida straits, while strong easterly winds (got that right this time) in the mid Atlantic sets up general current flow to the north and west into the south east exits from the basin, leaving only one way out for warm gulf water using the current path of the gulf stream flow.
The question above, was what might moderate that gulf stream flow and drastically change it affecting the climate in the north atlantic regions?
As I mentally visualized it, during cooling and ice up you get increasing adiabatic winds off the ice sheets, and weakening easterly flow of winds in midatlantic which also reduces the general flow north and west into the gulf, and the cold dry conditions in the continental US would drastically reduce outflow from the Mississippi so the bias of the hook current and the total flow into the basin (less flow to midatlantic current, less flow from the Mississippi and ALL the central American rivers which discharge into the Caribbean basin) would reduce due to cold dry conditions. This would effectively “shut off” the gulf stream or at least allow circulation directions to change and create a general exit from the basin to the south of Cuba rather than to the north.
Just a quick mental picture of a possible answer. If the flow switched from exiting from the Florida straits to a more general diffuse flow out all the exits due to reduced midatlantic current inflow and blocking and also lower river flows from all those tropical rivers which have large flows of warm fresh water into the gulf, it would basically cut off that hot water source to the north Atlantic and change it to a diffuse weak flow out past the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico etc.
One would have to find details of all the river flows under current conditions and likely flow conditions under cold dry conditions to validate the idea. It would probably be faster and cheaper to just build a 1 acre model of the gulf basin and build a physical analog computer of all those river flows and see what happens as you modify the various flows. Total tropical rain fall run off into the gulf from all those rivers has to be pretty impressive under warm wet conditions but would take a lot of research to estimate how those flows changed as conditions cooled and dried.
Let me see, if Polynesians could and did sail several thousand miles in the Pacific island hopping, what makes anyone think that the Siberian land bridge was the only way peoples from Europe, Africa and Asia got to what we now call North and South America. So, when they say that America is settled by immigrants, they’re trivially correct. What has been lost is that there have been many waves of colonization, some of which failed ‘naturally’ and others ‘not-so-naturally’.
@ EM, take a look at the Cherokee, particularly if you can get some portraits from the very early years of the most recent European wave of immigration to North America.
What were those ‘Civilized’ Tribes and why were they called that by the Europeans of the 16th and 17th Centuries?
dennisambler @ 5:07
Thanks for that.
@ cdquarles: Here is an explanation from a source in Oklahoma:
Here is another interesting page:
It includes pictures of representatives of each of the 5 Civilized Tribes.
It is interesting that I am often told I look Cherokee. This week I even had a woman haul out a picture of her Mom (full Cherokee) who looked like she could be my sister.
Me? I am a German/Lebanese* cross with English and a bit of French tossed in.
*Ellis Island documents show Seria but Grandad said he was a Lebanese DRUZ
A possible reason: Anomalous DNA in the Cherokee
This photo from the article of Bessie Cooper Yates, mother of the author who claimed to be Cherokee through the female line, is the spitting image of my mother who is 1/2 Druz. That blood line is so strong that my cousins and their children look exactly like some Druz I met at the county fair a few years ago.
This information near the top of the article is interesting in that it shows the SAME type of suppression of research that we see in climate research. Follow the Party Line or get you funding cut, get sued. —- Sound familiar?
A lady who worked for me at a telco was per her statement “100% Indian” from a tribe somewhere up near Illinois (had just come back from tribal annual get together).
Update the hairstyle and make the face slightly fuller, looks like that picture…
I said something like “Your tribe have a very european look” when I met her… That was when she said “My whole tribe does” and announced her 100% ancestry… then thanked me for NOT doing what most people did… question her indian origin. Seems she got Real Tired of folks saying “You don’t look Indian” and appreciated my turning it around…
Just looking at the Eastern tribes, the European traits are obvious. Much like Hopi and Navaho have clear Asian traits.
Sort of turns the whole simple Siberian to Alaska land bridge migration route meme on its head.
There are also the Clovis points (only found in America) and the possibly closely related Solutrean blades.
Fascinating…. I always loved this field but there is no money in it.
I have, in some of my ancestry, Cherokee (mom’s side via her dad and dad’s side from his mom’s, where that part of my family was traced to Harris County, North Carolina and the 1700s), Creek, Choctaw, and possibly some Seminole, given the warring and trading between the Creeks and the Cherokee and the Seminole and the Choctaw. I have, in some of my ancestry, Scots-Irish via my mom’s mom (Finley). I also have some ancestry from Africa, both from and not from the slave trade there (and elsewhere, by the way). I sort-of knew what the wiki-link would show. No surprises from the OK link, for that was the terminus of the 1820s/30s Trail of Tears. Many of the descendants of those tribes didn’t leave. They assimilated into the Europeanizing cultures around them. Check out the Poarch band of the Creek Indians, if you get a chance.