northern climate

YankeePerm at YankeePerm at
Fri Apr 18 09:25:51 EDT 1997

In a message dated 4/18/97 3:59:15 AM, xavierd at (Xavier Dequaire) wrote:

>There is a big concern for environment here too.
>The north sea provides oil and gas, this makes Norway a very very rich
>and pressure on environment gets higher though consumption habits, road
>construction and industrial wastage.
>The climate implies high energy consuming, because everything is though
>through the consumption model: e.g. people eat tomatoes and cucumbers all
>year round though they would hardly grow in the summer on freeland, except
>in microclimates.
>the tomatoes are grown in energy/chemicals intensive greenhouses i Holland,
>and Norway in the summer, and they do not taste anything...
>That's where permaculture design gives inspiration to alternative and
>integrated food production and energy saving solutions, and it works.
>There is luckylly very little diseases because of the cold climate.

A major environmental issue for Scandanavia, including Xavier's region, that
I don't read much about is the inevitable shift of the Gulf Stream.  Whether
the official scientific line is right and we are getting a "Global Warming"
or whether adocates of John Hamaker's line are correct, and "Global Warming"
puts energy into a refrigeration mechanism, brining on the next (overdue
anyway) Ice Age, the temperature differences between tropical sources of the
Gulf Stream and the arctic climes where it finally veers southward again will
shift.  The temperature difference is a difference drives river within the
ocean, which otherwise would be content to sit where it finds itself.
 Increase the temperature difference and the river runs faster.  Decrease it,
the river runs slower.  

A small change in average thermal difference between the tropics and the
arctic waters means a huge difference in momentum.  Remember your secondary
school physics:  F=MV(squared)  Any increase in the velocity of the stream is
squared and then multiplied by that imponderable mass of water to give the
change in momentum.  Obviously, momentum affects the location and arc of the
turning of the Gulf Stream from a northerly flow to a southerly flow.
 Probably absolute temperatures are important in determining the exact place
where the turn begins. 

The fragmentary information that I have indicates that the gulf stream has
been warmer as it passes Scandanavia, causing glaciers to melt.  The lighter
fresh water, also very cold, floats and the warmer salty water is submerged
so that points south, for example in the region of Normandy, experience much
cooler weather.  There are probably other complexities that no one has
noticed yet, and probably some that they have but that I don't know about.

The point here is that ANY region that depends on large scale ocean
convection currents for its climate, currents such as the Gulf Stream and the
Japan Current, will be in for weather which they probably cannot anticipate.
 For example, a small shift in the arc of the Gulf stream early on could be a
reall boon for Greenland and a curse of death for the Celtic Isles (UK and
Eire) and Scandanavia and a drastic problem for western Europe.  The effects
of a shift in the Japan current would likely kill fewer people, but the North
American Pacific Northwest might find that its population emigrates on a
large scale.  Maybe April knows better the currents in the Southern
Hemisphere.  Given reports that the Antarctic is getting even colder than
usual in winter, with depletion of upper atmpsphere ozone implicated, there
is no doubt reason for similar concern there.  The temperature differential
is probably changing to a larger degree in the SH!

2)  High (meaning big numbers) latitudes, North and South, need to be
concerned about ozone depletion as it permits increased UV radiation.  That
we are unable to anticipat the effects is little cause for comfort.  Ozone
depletion is in my view by a large measure the most serious ecological
concern on planet Earth and we are not really taking it seriously enough.
 The fact that the high latitudes get fried first is little comfort to the
rest of us, as the main photosynthetic engines of the planet may be affected.
 Major shifts in the chemical composition of the atmosphere, for example, may
not be permanent, but they might be enough to snuf the candle of our species,
among others.

For Mother Earth, Dan Hemenway, Yankee Permaculture Publications (since
1982), Elfin Permaculture workshops, lectures, Permaculture Design Courses,
consulting and permaculture designs (since 1981), and now correspondence
courses via email.  Internships available. Copyright, 1997, Dan & Cynthia
Hemenway, P.O. Box 2052, Ocala FL 34478 USA  YankeePerm at  

We don't have time to rush.

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