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This whole process relies on salinity of water. As salt water cools, it's density increases, causing this drop to floor I just mentioned. What could bugger this up?
Well, naturally, fresh water from melting ice-sheets, along with huge Siberian rivers, which are flooding more than ever, contributing to this fresh water being thrown into Atlantic.
Put simply, diluted salt water will not sink, Gulf Stream would call it a day and it would get bloody cold. No, really cold.
Dr Terry Joyce, of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute believes there is a 50% chance of this happening within next 100 years. "The likelihood of having an abrupt change is increasing - global warming is moving us closer and closer to brink" he warned.
(It was sobering stuff. Again, vitriolic thoughts about world's leaders who continue to allow global warming to happen bombarded my brain, as Atlantic continues to be bombarded by this fresh water.)
It's been cold recently, more so since central heating has decided to pack up and damned landlord has taken aeons to sort it. So, it was a case of watching this programme whilst huddled round my Zippo.
I'm relatively new to this town, so whilst I was on playground today, picking up kids, I got talking to this chap that I have begun to know. In past, it has merely been a case of exchanging pleasantries. I was telling him about central heating having shut down. Turns out, he'd seen Horizon last night as well.
"Knowing my luck" I said, " this forecasted ice age will hit us tonight before landlord gets boiler sorted."
"Oh no, I think it would take around 10 years to fully hit us. It wouldn't happen overnight."
Is he related to postmistress? I'm beginning to get nagging doubts about this town.
Freelance Journalist. 2004 has seen pieces published in The Guardian and pieces also accepted by Jack magazine. More articles available at my site: http://www.articles.me.uk