CliSAP successfully finished in 2018. Climate research continues in the Cluster of Excellence "CLICCS".

The warmth of the Gulf Stream gives Europe its mild climate

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Our home and Canada’s Northeast lie at about the same latitude, but have very different climates. Europe is much milder, but why? The reasons for this will quickly become clear in this animation…

In equatorial regions, temperatures are high because sunshine arrives at a more acute angle. This is the source of the Gulf Stream’s warmth, as clearly evident from this animation’s portrayal of water surface temperatures, in which the reddish colors indicate heat. The Gulf Stream flows up the East Coast of North America, driven by winds and the Coriolis effect, before crossing the Atlantic. West of the British Isles, its northward extension, the North Atlantic Current, transports warm water to the Nordic Seas. Over its course through the Atlantic, the water slowly gives off its energy into the atmosphere. That energy in the atmosphere is what provides our moderate climate.