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  • Context (NDTV | ET): As per a study published in the journal Nature Communications, Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025.
  • It could lead to more extreme weather events in Western Europe, including colder winters and hotter summers, with devastating effects on agriculture, infrastructure, and public health.

Gulf Stream

  • The Gulf Stream is a strong warm ocean current that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • It extends up the eastern coast of the United States and Canada.
  • It is formed from the convergence of the North Atlantic Equatorial Current bringing tropical water from the east, and the Florida Current that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico.
  • The main portion of the Gulf Stream continues north, veering more to the east and passing close to the Grand Banks, south of Newfoundland, where it breaks up into swirling currents.
  • Some of these eddies flow toward the British Isles and the Norwegian seas and form the North Atlantic Current (or Drift).
  • In the east, the Gulf Stream merges into the Sargasso Sea.
  • It is a small part of ‘thermohaline circulation’ or ‘Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation’.
  • With an average speed of 6.4 km/hr, and a maximum speed of about 9 km/hr, it is the fastest current in the world ocean.

North Atlantic Ocean Currents

Importance of Gulf Stream

  • Mingling with the colder waters both on the Grand Banks and off northwestern Europe, contribute to turbulence & availability of nutrient salts making these regions among the most productive commercial fishing grounds in the world.
  • The Gulf Stream is like a “river” in the ocean, and it ensures that the climate of Western Europe is much warmer than it would otherwise be.
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