Conveyor Belt At-Risk

Writers’ Trigger:

You may know the novelist Joanne Harris. She wrote Chocolat as well as a number of other books to include Blackberry Wine in which a few chapters are told through the point of view of a wine bottle:

     Take, for instance, Fleurie, 1962. Last survivor of a crate of twelve, bottled and laid down the year Jay was born. ‘A pert, garrulous wine, cheery and a little brash, with a pungent taste of blackcurrant,’ said the label. Not really a wine for keeping, but he did. For nostalgia’s sake. For a special occasion. A birthday, perhaps a wedding. But his birthdays passed without celebration; drinking Argentinean red and watching old Westerns. Five years ago he laid me out on a table set with silver candlesticks, but nothing came of it.”

How lovely is that!

  • Choose an inanimate object and tell a story through the “eyes” of that object.
  • a shoe, a refrigerator, a TV, or a closet are just a few ideas.


Thanks to the Internet, I’ve just learned that snow has blanketed 1/3 of the United States. Meanwhile, thanks to the Gulf Stream, London which is at the same latitude as Hudson Bay, is right on schedule with the first signs of spring.

Any number of shrubs and flowering trees are in bud.  Window boxes are flush with bedding plants – primrose and pansies to name two. And sprouting here and there are snowdrops – the first to flower.

I love spring in London because when I return to Colorado, I get to experience spring a second time… two or more months later.

I mentioned the Gulf Stream.  Starting in the Gulf of Mexico, the warm water travels up the East coast and then when it reaches North Carolina, it veers off Cape Hatteras and meanders north to western Europe and up toward Greenland.

As the North Atlantic Drift travels north, it gradually becomes colder. In addition, fresh water from melting glacial ice dilutes the sea water and it becomes less saline. 

Because cold fresh water is heavier than warm saline water, the cold water sinks and loops full circle back towards the Gulf.

Some fear that Global Warming will slow the conveyor belt. If the northbound conveyor is warmer than usual, it just may not be cold or dense enough to sink in the North Atlantic for a return trip south. In which case, Northern Europe will experience another little ice age.

The research is mixed. On March 29, 2010, NASA announced that their 15-year study did not show the Atlantic Conveyor Belt slowing. At the other end of the spectrum, in 2005, Detlef Quadfasel, University of Hamburg, (citing 50 years of research) wrote “The Atlantic Heat Conveyor Slows” in Nature magazine.

We can hope that the conveyor belt continues to warm Western Europe. On the other hand, hope is wishful thinking. It probably wouldn’t hurt to study the research and project worst case scenarios… just in case.

About timeout2

I have lived 100 lives. I write essays, short stories, poetry, grocery lists and notes to myself. If I am ever lost, look for a paper trail, but be careful not to trip over any books that lie scattered here and there. I am a reader. I am a reader in awe of writers. When I don't live in Westcliffe, Colorado, I live in London where I am a long-time member of Word-for-Word - Crouch End.
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