I think the immediate concern for the eastern USA is we got a runaway Gulf Stream...
I'll bet you Millstone is sweating buckets over this during the winter...they are thanking their lucky stars we had a colder winter and spring this year. Millstone is asking for a 5 degrees heat sink temperature licence amendment request for the summer season...
The pattern is at nuclear power plants...they paper whip their nuclear safety engineering paperwork over Global Warming issues...they never dig dirt or dredge to install new concrete and metal in order to combat these environmental challenges...
Sea Surface Temperatures Reach Highest Level in 150 Years on Northeast Continental Shelf
Summary of Conditions of the Northeast Shelf Ecosystem
“The Northeast Shelf’s warm water thermal habitat was also at a record high level during 2012, while cold water habitat was at a record low level.”
Warming conditions on the Northeast Shelf in the spring of 2012 continued into September, with the most consistent warming conditions seen in the Gulf of Maine and on Georges Bank. Temperatures cooled by October and were below average in the Middle Atlantic Bight in November, perhaps due to Superstorm Sandy, but had returned to above average conditions by December.
So why isn't arctic sea ice insulation. Less sea ice, less insulation, more churning the ocean surface with storms, wave and such...much more heat transfer to the arctic ocean. More water cooling and sinking to the bottom arctic ocean juicing the heat engine pump to the equator.
Is the salt concentration changes that big a deal....
Here is more of the Labrador Current 1950 story mentioned in a past article:
"He said that it has happened before — in the 1950s, when a four-year spike in water temperatures caused a temporary collapse in the gulf’s northern shrimp population — but that the trend inexplicably reversed itself and cooler water returned.
“We’re definitely seeing a warming trend,” Keliher said. “Obviously, what we’re hoping now is that it will reverse itself again.”
Scientists interviewed for this article said the 1950s temperature anomaly in the gulf was isolated and may not be comparable to what’s going on today, given the global scope of observed climate changes."
DOMINION NUCLEAR CONNECTICUT, INC.
LICENSEE EVENT REPORT 2012-002-00
COMPLETION OF PLANT SHUTDOWN REQUIRED BY TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Prolonged hot weather in the Long Island Sound, in conjunction with high humidity during the day and minimal cooling at night resulted in sustained elevated cooling water temperature (UHS) supplied to the plant. Ambient air temperatures in July were the hottest on record in the contiguous United States since record keeping began in 1895 according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and temperatures continued to remain high in August.
Since the shutdown was required by environmental factors beyond licensee control, no corrective actions were required.
Gulf Stream Moved 125 Miles North in 2011
The core of the Gulf Stream diverted as much as 125 miles to the north of its average position last year.
While the diversion lasted for only a couple weeks, the warm water stuck around for months, into early 2012.The strange conditions likely had and will have an effect on marine life near the edge of the continental shelf, the underwater extension of the North American continent that creates relatively shallow waters until it abruptly drops off. The continental shelf off the Northeast is home to an abundance of fish. Studies in Northeast waters have shown that temperature increases of 4 F (2 C) have caused major northward shifts in populations of silver hake, a commercially important fish.
Cold northern Labrador Current
The team of biochemists and oceanographers from Switzerland, Canada and the United States detected changes in deep sea Atlantic corals that indicated the declining influence of the cold northern Labrador Current.
They said in the US National Academy of Science journal PNAS that the change “since the early 1970s is largely unique in the context of the last approximately 1,800 years,” and raised the prospect of a direct link with global warming.
The Labrador Current interacts with the warmer Gulfstream from the south.
They in turn have a complex interaction with a climate pattern, the North Atlantic Oscillation, which has a dominant impact on weather in Europe and North America.
Scientists have pointed to a disruption or shifts in the oscillation as an explanation for moist or harsh winters in Europe, or severe summer droughts such as in Russia, in recent years.
One of the five scientists, Carsten Schubert, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Acquatic Sciences and Technology (EAWAG), underlined that for nearly 2,000 years the sub polar Labrador current off northern Canada and Newfoundland was the dominant force.
However that pattern appeared to have only been repeated occasionally in recent decades.
“Now the southern current has taken over, it’s really a drastic change,” Schubert told AFP, pointing to the evidence of the shift towards warmer water in the northwest Atlantic.
A physical explanation for the multi-annual climatological association between the NAO and NE SSTs is as follows. During positive NAO winters there is a strong pressure gradient and vigorous westerly airflow in the North Atlantic region. The high winds lead to evaporation in the surface waters and cooler-than-average SSTs in the Labrador Sea. This triggers regional thermohaline processes between the Labrador Sea and the Labrador Shelf that can significantly weaken the density-driven long-shore southward current (the Labrador Current) the following summer. The opposite is true during negative NAO winters; weak westerlies over the Labrador Sea promote a stronger Labrador Current, which results in cooler SST in the New England region 6-12 months later Figure 5 (lower panels) (Rossby and Benway, 2000). Also, the phase of the winter NAO is also a good predictor of the latitude of the Gulf Stream 1-2 years in advance (Taylor and Stephens, 1998). Recent studies have proposed that the strength of the Labrador Current may play an important role in controlling the relationship between the NAO and the north-south position of the Gulf Stream (Rossby and Benway, 2000).
The lag between winter NAO conditions and New England regional SSTs coupled with the ocean’s "memory" for previous seasons conditions (due to its high heat capacity) provides a reasonable explanation for the observed multi-annual association between the NAO and NE regional SST. Also, decadal-scale shifts in NAO variability promote significant year-to-year persistence in New England regional SSTs, which, as outlined above, is likely to play an important role governing seasonal to decadal-scale climate change in New England.
Prediction models for the NAO have been best at forecasting multi-annual trends in North Atlantic climate system (Sutton and Allen, 1997; Griffies and Bryan, 1997; Rodwell et al., 1999). Hence, to the extent that the NAO proves to be a predictable climate index it may also become an important tool for forecasting annual and multi-annual climate change (particularly drought) in NE.
Paleoclimatology - The Study of Ancient Climates
Millstone and Long Island Sound
I think the major factor of the heated Long Island sound seawater temperatures last summer came about from a dramatic shift of the Gulf Stream pushing out the Labrador Current. The Gulf Stream shifted north off of Virginia and it is directly infiltrating the NE seashore north of Virginia as never before. We are seeing dramatic shifts in Ocean temperatures and the types of fish catches up and down the coast of New England including Maine
The largest Superstorm the Northeast have even seen is the quickening of the shift of the Gulf Stream and its pushing out to sea the Labrador Current. It seems something is weakening the Labrador Current and strengthening the Gulf Stream. And it will affect our hurricanes and Nor'easter. This is going to have huge economic consequences both positive and negative.
As a example, we could have a step increase in the temperature of the Long Island Sound sea temperatures and this making obsolete the whole Millstone nuclear facility in a heartbeat of historic time. We could create a power plant crisis all up and down the Northeast with insufficient cooling water capacity at any power plant with the exception of maybe Seabrook.
I think we need a emergency scientific study with how the Gulf Stream and Labrador Current has shifted in the past in the Northeast...going back many ice ages and many Themohaline cycles.
So what is pushing the warm gulf stream into the bent arm of NE.
December 06. 2012 12:58AM
Fishermen frustrated over shrimpy shrimp season
By GRETYL MACALASTER
Union Leader Correspondent
PORTSMOUTH - Fisherman Stephen Lee might not even stay in the area this year for the shrimp season
Lee said shrimp "recruitment" numbers are low largely as a result of warmer ocean temperatures.
Ocean temperatures in the western Gulf of Maine shrimp habitat have been increasing in recent years and have reached or approached unprecedented highs in the past three years, he said.
Lee said the fishery faced similar circumstances in the 1950s, with the Gulf Stream moving up and pinching off the Labrador current off Newfoundland, and preventing the cold water from running into the Gulf of Maine.