A slowing current system in the Atlantic Ocean spells trouble for Earth

Sri Lanka: Monsoon rains cause deadly flooding

Widespread flooding in the south and east of Sri Lanka has forced thousands to leave their homes and killed at least 17 people, officials said on Monday.

Flooding caused by heavy monsoon rains has devastated parts of Sri Lanka

The disaster comes as the island nation’s tourism sector has already been badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.  The flooding occurred after rivers overflowed on the weekend after days of heavy rain.

In one deadly incident, four members of the same family — parents and two children — were killed on Saturday when their house was crushed by a mound of earth in Kegalle district, about 85 kilometers (53 miles) east of the capital, Colombo…

A slowing current system in the Atlantic Ocean spells trouble for Earth

It was a seamless synthesis of science and art, expanding the frontiers of human knowledge while being eerily beautiful at the same time. That was the response when, in the 1960s, professor Henry Stommel, a pioneering oceanographer, introduced a model to his colleagues that explained the motions of ocean waters. Decades later, Dr. Michael E. Mann, a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, still marvels at what he describes as the “elegant” nature of Stommel’s model.

A sudden shift in how the Atlantic current system works would drastically change life on Earth.

“It consisted of two boxes, a cold fresh box at high latitudes and a warm salty box at low latitudes, to represent the North Atlantic ocean,” Mann told Salon by email. “He showed that this simple model predicted an overturning ‘thermohaline’ circulation — a circulation driven by contrasts in ocean water density due to both temperature and salinity, each of which influence water density.”

Thus, armed with a model so simple that it can be solved with algebra, scientists now understood the ocean currents in the Atlantic…

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