Global Warming Images
The Gulf Stream, or North Atlantic Drift is an ocean current that bathes the western shores of the British Isles with warm water. This makes Britain warmer than it would otherwise be for its latitude. The conveyor is driven by cold dense sea water sinking in the Arctic. As it travels south it warms and rises, with this warmer water then heading back north, to complete the cycle. As the planet warms, massive quantities of fresh water are flowing into the Arctic Ocean from melting glaciers, sea ice and ice sheets. This less dense fresh water, floats on the surface, and slows down the rate at which the denser sea water sinks. Scientists have already recorded a slowing down of the Gulf Stream. If it were to cease completely it would make Britain a far colder place.