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October 16 2012

Gulf Stream Diverted More Than 100 Miles North in 2011


Last fall, fishermen in the Northeast United States noticed stronger currents and higher water temperatures than usual, so they tapped scientists from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts to help them find out what was going on.

A study by the scientists, published recently in the journal Scientific Reports, suggests the cause was a change in the direction of the Gulf Stream, the current that ferries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico northeast into the Atlantic and along the U.S. East Coast. The scientists found that the center, or core, of the Gulf Stream was diverted as much as 125 miles (200 kilometers) to the north of its average position, according to a WHOI statement.

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