Friday, November 5, 2010

Gulf Disaster Part II - The Gulf Stream Is Dying

It has been brought to my attention that the contaminated seafood I wrote about yesterday is not the worst effect of the massive disaster inflicted upon us by BP and the Obama Administration.

It would appear, from satellite data, that the Gulf Stream is dying or has already died.

I confess, I needed a refresher on how the Gulf Stream works. Essentially, a warm water current comes up the NE coast of South America, does a loop in the Gulf of Mexico, and then passes by the tip of Florida before heading diagonally across the Atlantic to pass by the British Isles and Scandinavia. Technically, the part before the tip of Florida has a different name, but it's all one continous current, or it used to be.

The dumping of a billion gallons of crude oil, and two million gallons of toxic dispersant, (brand name Corexit), into the Gulf of Mexico, however, has screwed this up royally. Instead of flowing across the Atlantic, the Gulf Stream is now breaking down in a series of whirlpools in a region that stretches from off the Carolinas to the mid-Atlantic.

Here is a graphic showing how the Gulf Stream is supposed to flow. Apologies for not embedding it, but if I reduced it to fit, you wouldn't be able to see WTF was going on.

Here is a site with weekly-updated satellite data.

Here is an archived graphic from late October of 2009, roughly a year ago, from the same site, showing the same data.

At first glance, the two appear substantially the same. But look at the top right corner. In the graphic from a year ago, the stream continues off the map, toward the UK. In the most recent graphics, nothing makes it off the map. The Gulf Stream is breaking up in mid-Atlantic.

What does this mean? Well, for starts, it's the warmth of the Gulf Stream that keeps Europe from freezing solid in the winter. And it's the Gulf Stream, continuing as the North Atlantic current, that flows over the top of the Asian landmass and determines weather across much of Russia.

Russia, which has had the hottest Summer on record, causing massive wildfires, and devastating their wheat crop to the point where all exports have been banned.

So, dear reader, it would appear that BP, with the help and collusion of our oh-so-dearly-beloved President, has screwed us at least three different ways. The Gulf seafood is not safe to eat, much of the Atlantic seafood will soon be unsafe to eat, and the weather is screwed up to the point that grain production will be curtailed severely, has already been curtailed severely.

Can you say rising food prices, boys and girls? And at the same time, we can look forward to renewed inflation, since Ben Bernanke has just decided to print another 900 billion dollars in paper money, and give it to the bankers.

Because, after all, those poor bankers really need the help...

1 comment:

  1. Wait, I thought Obama fixed the BP disaster, just like he fixed health care and Wall Street...