I hope you are having a Flumenous Fluid Friday! I just made that word up, but it reminds me of flumen (river) and lumen (light), so a bright and flowing friday? My offering today is from a Perpetual Ocean visualisation created by NASA from a variety of data. It is a really beautiful image of the ever shifting and yet hypnotic patterns of the global ocean currents from 2005 to 2007:
This beautiful image reminds me of just how remarkable the ocean and its whorls and patterns is, and yet how fragile it is. As NASA discuss in an article entitled ‘A Chilling Possibility’, climate change and the melting of the polar ice could have frightening consequences for the flow of the ocean:
The thawing of sea ice covering the Arctic could disturb or even halt large currents in the Atlantic Ocean. Without the vast heat that these ocean currents deliver–comparable to the power generation of a million nuclear power plants–Europe’s average temperature would likely drop 5 to 10°C (9 to 18°F), and parts of eastern North America would be chilled somewhat less. Such a dip in temperature would be similar to global average temperatures toward the end of the last ice age roughly 20,000 years ago.
So today my fluid friday is a combination of beauty and danger. As Steven Mentz has claimed in his PMLA article ’After Sustainability’, ”[i]f we recognize that our global environment, in its changeableness, its alterity, and its violence, appears more oceanic than terrestrial, we might be able to invent literary ecologies that put the sea at the center, not the margins.” Remember the beauty and promise, and the danger and instability of our ocean world.