You’ve probably never heard of the Beaufort Gyre but it could be about to change our lives for generations

The Beaufort Gyre is a massive wind-driven current in the Arctic Ocean, located north of Alaska and Canada’s Yukon Territory. The region has been regulating climate and sea ice formation at the top of the world for millennia. Recently, however, something has gone amiss. (Electroverse)

The Beaufort Gyre is a wind-driven circulation system that traps and pushes freshwater and ice around the Arctic Ocean. NSIDC/AMAP
The Gyre influences climate. Credit: Eric S. Taylor (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

During the second half of the 20th century the gyre adhered to a cyclical pattern in which it would shift gears every five to seven years and temporarily spin in a counter-clockwise direction, expelling ice and freshwater into the eastern Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. But for more than 17 years now, this carousel of ice and freshwater has been spinning faster in its usual clockwise direction, all the while collecting more and more freshwater from three sources: melting sea ice, runoff flowing into the Arctic Ocean from Russian and North American rivers, and the relatively fresh water streaming in from the Bering Sea. 

As reported by Today, the Beaufort Gyre now holds as much freshwater as all of the Great Lakes combined, and its continuing clockwise swirl is preventing this enormous volume of ice and cold-freshwater from flushing into the North Atlantic Ocean. Scientists say the gyre will inevitably weaken and reverse direction, and when it does it could expel a massive amount of icy fresh water into the North Atlantic.

Which spells disaster for the Gulf Stream, the warm currents that sweep past the British Isles and allow warm winds to blow across Europe.

Polar oceanographer Andrey Proshutinsky of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution has labeled this anticipated surge of water a “ticking climate bomb,” noting that even a partial flush of that growing reservoir –a mere 5 percent– could temporarily cool the climate of Iceland and northern Europe. A larger outflow would actually threaten to shutdown the Gulf Stream, an event that would see ice age conditions sweep Northern and Western Europe almost overnight.

The Gulf Stream is key to Europe having the mild, habitable climate that it does.

Just when they thought losing the Ukraine harvest was their biggest worry.

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The COLD TIMES are returning, the mid-latitudes are REFREEZING in line with historically low solar activitycloud-nucleating Cosmic Rays, and a meridional jet stream flow (among many other forcings, including the impending release of the Beaufort Gyre). Prepare accordingly — learn the facts, relocate if need be, and grow your own.