When it comes to the weather, most people check the newspaper or an internet weather website to see whether to expect rain or sunshine, and then go about their day without realizing that there is much more to weather than that. There are a number of factors that affect your local weather that you may not even be aware of, and one of the most powerful is the gulf stream. While you may have heard of the term, it’s an easy concept to misunderstand, but the effects of it cannot be underestimated. From marine life to coastal health to the temperature in your town, the gulf stream have a significant and powerful effect that can literally change the world above ground as well as the world under water.

Gulf Stream

Gulf Stream

 Simply put, the gulf stream is a tremendously powerful current running through the Atlantic Ocean that is essential to the health of the ocean as well as the coastline. It begins around the southernmost tip of the state of Florida and runs roughly parallel to the coasts of the eastern United States as well as Newfoundland, and then peels off across the vast expanse of the Atlantic. About halfway out into the blue, the current divides itself into two halves, one of which trails off in the direction of the United Kingdom and northern Europe while the other circles down towards the western coast of Africa. This current is used by a host of marine life that utilizes it as part of the migration process, moving from one area of the ocean to another in order to participate in the traditional birth, life and death cycle of their species. As the earth has experienced climate change, the gulf stream itself has changed as well, which subsequently affects the sea life that depends on it. This can have negative consequences for the health as well as the continued existence of a number of marine species.

As a key part of the health and secure existence of our oceans and the marine life they contain, the gulf stream is an invaluable asset, which is why it’s crucial to monitor climate change and understand what effects it is having on the gulf stream. It is likely that marine life will adapt as changes occur. What we must do is make sure we also adapt. Having knowledge about the changes in advance will help us to do that.