The Gulf Stream

The Gulf Stream


  • The Gulf Stream

Published Date

  • published 1940


celled animals, crabs, fish, and other forms of life cling or hover in the
yellow weeds as they leave their homes in the torrid zone and are swept
northward. Many of them reach the confines of the Sargasso Sea but
many more are carried into the cool arctic waters where they are lost.

The waters that turn northward, east of the Newfoundland
Banks, eventually turn again to sweep southward along the coasts of
Greenland and pick up the huge icebergs that are broken off the ends of
glaciers which slide form the shores of that country. The current is cool
now. The heat that is absorbed in its long journey across the equator, the
tropic seas, and the straits of South and Central America is lost by long
exposure to arctic weather. It is further chilled by the hundreds of
icebergs, great and small, which it now carries on its coast.

Slowly, these mountains of arctic ice sail southward, cutting
across the sea lanes, where busy ships ply between America and Europe,
lanes which are also the path of the Gulf Stream as it flows eastward.
This southbound current, known as the Labrador Current, is as frigidly
cold as the Gulf Stream is hospitably warm.

The meeting of these two currents gives rise to dense and terrible
fogs which are dreaded by captains of ocean-going ships. In the midst
of those fogs the icebergs hover, caught between the two currents, until
they slowly melt. Numerous vessels have been lost at sea after crushing
into these drifting icebergs. The toll of human life has been great.