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Old 08-01-2012, 09:37 PM
 
Location: PA
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I saw a documentary not too long ago, it talked about how Panama is the reason why we have a Gulf Stream. I don't remember much of it, but what would the climate in the n.h. be like if the Gulf Stream went straight into the Pacific and not around the U.S. and Central America? I think they said something like it would have starved the polar latitudes of moisture and probably would have prevented the ice age, but I'm not sure as memory is spotty.

So, what would the climate be like if Panama never joined up with South America?

*I tried searching the forum to see if there was previous discussion about it, couldn't find any
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Old 08-02-2012, 12:56 PM
 
Location: Western Massachusetts
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Gulf Stream would be weaker, north atlantic region cooler and drier. The authors of this paper found that it made a small difference in ice sheet size. The drier + cooler effects cancel each other, mostly.

http://homepages.see.leeds.ac.uk/~ea...ntetal2008.pdf
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