How does global warming affect the Gulf Stream?

Our planet’s oceans are in constant motion as dense (salty or cold) water sinks, driving a worldwide system of currents. The warm waters of the Gulf Stream increase temperatures in northern Europe by several degrees, but such currents are themselves vulnerable to How does global warming affect the Gulf Stream?changes in our climate.

Global warming is causing Arctic sea ice to melt, dumping excess freshwater into the north Atlantic. This could in turn affect the currents of dense water sinking in this region and slow down the Gulf Stream in coming years. Recent measurements seem to support this theory, but the complexity of global climate systems makes it very difficult to prove beyond doubt.

Answered by Alexandra Cheung


How do Venus flytraps work?

Venus flytraps, like the rat-eating carnivorous plant featured in issue two, tend to grow in boggy soil that’s low in nutrients, hence they need to find another source of food to sustain them, namely insects that happen to land on their leaves