Unexplained Ocean Anomaly: Scientists baffled by tide behavior in the Atlantic (November 2009)
Something strange is brewing in the Atlantic Ocean
Justin Beard said, “I’ve been around the ocean for about 20 years now and can’t remember ever experiencing such extreme low tides and extreme high tides in back to back years like we have gotten on the Treasure Coast.” The tides were so low during the spring equinox of ’08 that the shallow reefs at Bathtub Beach in Stuart and Riomar Reef in Vero Beach were at times partially exposed, as well as the sandbars at numerous surf breaks in between. These extreme low tides caused waves to closeout, or break all at once, more often than not, which made it difficult to surf during low tide. A little more than a year later, and now the complete opposite is happening, as we have been experiencing extreme high tides ever since the Septembers fall equinox.
These extreme high tides have pushed more water over the reefs and sandbars during high tide, causing waves to crumble or not even break at all. Normally, the effects from the fall equinox subside after a couple of weeks, but that is yet to happen on the Treasure Coast. So what’s causing the Atlantic Ocean to rise? According to a recent article in National Geographic, its not global warming. Apparently, the Gulf Stream Current, a northward-flowing superhighway of ocean water off the United States Eastern Seaboard, is to blame. Running at full steam, about 3 mph, the powerful current pulls water into its orbit and away from the East Coast. But it mysteriously slowed down in September, sending 2 feet of water towards the entire East Coast. Adding to the sustained surge, autumn winds from the northeastern Atlantic are pushing even more water coastward. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is researching this phenomenon, but the mystery remains and it’s unclear when the Gulf Stream will once again pick up steam.
Justin Beard: Experts baffled by recent Gulf Stream phenomenon TCPalm.com