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Posted Thu Aug 6 2009: from New Scientist:
Arctic Ocean may be polluted soup by 2070
Within 60 years the Arctic Ocean could be a stagnant, polluted soup. Without drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, the Transpolar Drift, one of the Arctic's most powerful currents and a key disperser of pollutants, is likely to disappear because of global warming. The Transpolar Drift is a cold surface current that travels right across the Arctic Ocean from central Siberia to Greenland, and eventually out into the Atlantic. It was first discovered in 1893 by the Norwegian explorer Fridtjof Nansen, who tried unsuccessfully to use the current to sail to the North Pole. Together with the Beaufort Gyre, the Transpolar Drift keeps Arctic waters well mixed and ensures that pollution never lingers there for long.... In a "business-as-usual" scenario, in which atmospheric carbon dioxide levels double by 2070, Johannessen and his colleagues found that the Transpolar Drift stops and the Beaufort Gyre, Greenland Current and Gulf Stream weaken considerably.... One reason for this sluggish behaviour is a change in wind patterns driven by global warming and rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice. As a result, pollution takes much longer to disperse in this scenario. Much of this pollution would congregate along the non-European coastlines of the Arctic Ocean, the model suggests.
[Read more stories about: arctic meltdown, toxic water, climate impacts]

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'Doc Jim says:
Maybe the jellyfish and algae would just eat up all the pollution in that Arctic soup.

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