by Gianluigi Zangari
Abstract: BP Oil Spill may cause an irreparable damage
to the Gulf Stream global climate thermoregulation activity.
The Gulf Stream importance in the global climate thermoregulation processes
is well assessed. The latest real time satellite (Jason, Topex/Poseidon, Geosat
Follow-On, ERS-2, Envisat) data maps of May-June 2010 processed by CCAR1,2
(Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research), checked at Frascati
Laboratories by the means of the SHT congruent calculus3 and compared with
past years data, show for the first time a direct evidence of the rapid breaking
of the Loop Current, a warm ocean current, crucial part of the Gulf Stream.
As displayed both by the sea surface velocity maps and the sea surface height
maps, the Loop Current broke down for the first time around May 18th and
generated a clock wise eddy, which is still active (see Fig. 1).
Figure 1| Real time satellites data maps. Real time sea surface height maps (above) and sea surface velocity maps (below) starting from april 22nd until June 9th processed by CCAR1,2 and checked at LNF (Frascati) by SHT calculus3. The star indicates the site of BP platform “Deepwater Horizon”. The yellow arrow indicates the breaking of the Loop Stream.
As of today the situation has deteriorated up to the point in which the eddy has
detached itself completely from the main stream therefore destroying
completely the Loop Current, as in figure 2 below, dated June 12th 2010.
Figure 2| Real time satellites data maps updated. Real time sea surface height map (left) and sea surface velocity maps (right) updated on June 12th processed by CCAR1,2 and checked at LNF (Frascati) by SHT calculus3. The star indicates the site of BP platform “Deepwater Horizon”. The yellow arrow indicates the breaking of the Loop Stream.
Since comparative analysis with past satellite data until may 2010 didn’t show
relevant anomalies, it might be therefore plausible to correlate the breaking of
the Loop Current with the biochemical and physical action of the BP Oil Spill on
the Gulf Stream.
It is reasonable to foresee the threat that the breaking of a crucial warm
stream as the Loop Current may generate a chain reaction of unpredictable
critical phenomena and instabilities due to strong non linearities which may
have serious consequences on the dynamics of the Gulf Stream thermo-
regulation activity of the Global Climate.
1. CCAR web page: http://argo.colorado.edu/~realtime/welcome/;
2. Leben, R. R., G. H. Born, B. R. Engebreth, 2002, Operational altimeter data processing for mesoscale monitoring. Marine Geodesy, 25, 3-18;
3. G. Zangari patent SIAE-OLAF n. 9903198/1999
We also aknowledge the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA: the maps displayed in Fig. 1 and 2 were produced by the Colorado Center for Astrodynamics Research at the University of Colorado, Boulder, USA. More information on these data products is available at http://argo.colorado.edu/~realtime/welcome/.