The Effect of the Gulf Stream in Jupiter
| The Effect of the Gulf Stream in Jupiter |
The Gulf Stream is a 20-60 mile wide current that brings warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. It extends all the way up the eastern coast of the United States and Canada then makes its way towards Northern and Western Europe. It has has an average speed of about 4 mph off of our coast in Florida but slows to about 1 mph as it widens in the north.
First discovered in 1513, by Juan Ponce De Leon, it was extensively used by Spanish ships as they traveled from the Caribbean to Spain. A man named Benjamin Franklin later mapped the current! It is still used by pleasure crafts and big ships who are heading north and want to gain some extra speed.
Our own Jupiter Inlet gets the prize for having the Gulf Stream run closer to our shore than anywhere in the US. It can be as close as 1 to 10 miles away bringing with it many benefits. It makes for a sport fishing paradise as floating seaweed on the edge of the current attract baitfish which attracts larger predators.
It also helps blunt the chill of winter, nurtures corals and reefs, and sweeps away pollution. On the downside, the Gulf Stream can cause some problems. With its warmer water, it can add fuel to developing hurricanes. It is also thought that the Gulf Stream may be slowing down and could have a growing impact on the global climate.
Because the Greenland Ice Sheet is melting, it has created an intrusion of fresh water which changes the density/salinity of the current, causing changes in the stream’s circulation. Some reports suggest that temperatures in England and Northwestern Europe could drop 4-6 degrees.
We are very fortunate to be living in the coastal town of Jupiter. With its 3.4 miles of beautiful, warm, blue waters provided by Mother Nature and the Gulf Stream, we can enjoy the beaches, boating all year round. It makes our water the clearest choice for kayaking anywhere on the coast!