Epsilon reaches Hurricane strength

A record-breaking hurricane season is over, but Epsilon is still out there. It is now a category 1 hurricane, a long ways east of the United States, and too far north to likely do anything other than die in the North Atlantic. The USA Today story observes the controversy over whether this year’s activity can be attributed to global warming: We’ll know in about thirty years.

Meanwhile, there’s been a rash of stories about a “30% reduction in the warm currents that carry water north from the Gulf Stream” of currents in the North Atlantic which might result in a mini ice age in Europe and Northeast Canada. This prospect is an extreme example of how global warming might produce cooler weather, in a chain of events that begins with the introduction of higher density freshwater–from melting ice–into the North Atlantic, interfering with the heat exchange that draws water north.

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