Description: Stunning drone images near Lendalfoot in South Ayrshire captured a glimpse of a mammoth whirlpool off the Scottish west coast. According to the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA), the phenomenon is linked to recent rainwater that came into contact with wastewater, forming leachate (as cited in Parsons, 2021). The wastewater is further confirmed to emanate from the Straid Farm landfill site pumped into the sea. With recent sustainable and heavy rains, the leachate increased in volume, creating a prolonged current and swirling the water. Besides, the whirlpool came after Dumfries locals evacuated the town, prompted by the burst of River Nith. Yellow warnings have since been issued across Wales and Scotland as more flooding is expected.
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Geologic Significance: The Bermuda Triangle is prone to rogue whirlpools with incidents of lost vessels and aircraft. Other noticeable whirlpools include those of the Messina, Garofalo, and Hebrides islands. Studies imply that the swirling water, eddies, are subjected to a dragging effect and carry immense heat that affects climate, and thus, similar to ocean currents. Typically, ocean currents move heat from the equator towards the poles, which is critical in climate control.
Ocean currents also contribute to sea life by carrying food, nutrients, and reproductive cells to other places. In that view, researchers suggest that the Great Whirl is associated with India’s monsoon that drives the rainy season. Similarly, the eddies carry warm water that influences extreme weather conditions around Japan, exacerbated by the Kuroshio current. Researchers argue that whirlpools will help with forecasting tasks, particularly in predicting rainfall (Slezak, 2014).
Parsons, S. (2021). Whirlpool in the sea off the coast of Scotland near Ayrshire due to waste water. The Herald. Web.
Slezak, M. (2014). Huge ‘whirlpools’ in the ocean are driving the weather. NewScientist. Web.