Type
Essay
Pages
9 pages
Word Count
3115 words
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N/A
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THe Thermohaline Circulation

August 15, 2015
Running Head: GLOBAL WARMING’S EFFECT ON THE THERMOHALINE CURRENT 1
Global Warming’s Effect on the Thermohaline Current:
Earth’s Regulatory System
Louis Moehlman
California Lutheran University
Professor Foote
Marine Biology BIOL 115
May 7, 2015
GLOBAL WARMING’S EFFECT ON THE THERMOHALINE CURRENT 2
Abstract
This report is going to explore the effects global warming has on the rapid melting of freshwater
and the decrease in salinity of the ocean water and how that translates to the shutting down of the
Thermohaline Current, which will be referred to as the THC.
It is known that the oceans are what regulate the global temperature as well as regulate the
weather on land. It is theorized that an increase in the melting of fresh water would cause a
decrease in salinity of ocean waters making it cooler. Ocean cooling has been attributed to the
cessation of all oceanic currents resulting in the stop of heat transfer and habitable climates for
Europe resulting in a cooling of global temperatures. This will lead to the formation of
continental ice sheets which would cover over half of the northern hemisphere. All of this is
preventable if steps are taken to mitigate the effects global warming and global climate change.
This report will not go over steps on preventing global warming, but will rather end with a
question; a question of cost. Just how much is too much?
GLOBAL WARMING’S EFFECT ON THE THERMOHALINE CURRENT 3
Global Warming’s Effect on the Thermohaline Current: Earth’s Regulatory System
Our blue planet sits quietly in the “goldilocks” zone of the solar system. The suns not to
hot that it strips away our atmosphere and it’s not to cold that we freeze like the moons of Saturn;
our spot in the solar system is just right. This does not mean that our planet does not fall victim
to the extremes of space. Temperatures can vary hundreds of degrees on our planet; from the
frozen tundra of the Antarctic to the blistering heat of Death Valley, California. Yet life still
persists at all extremes of the planet.
According to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, NASA, the average
temperature for the planet in the year 2013 was a resounding 58.3 degrees Fahrenheit. For the
past eleven thousand years, humanity has been able to “enjoy a relatively stable” and moderate
climate (NASA, 2014). The question is then asked, how is the heat transferred from the equators
where the temperature are warmer, to the poles? Quite simply, the ocean.
The oceans make up approximately %71 of the earth’s surface area. And because the

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