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Scientists Warn That Changes in Atlantic Ocean Currents Will Impact Climate

ByEditor

Feb 10, 2024

A study published in the journal Science Advances warns that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a critical system of Atlantic Ocean currents, may be on the verge of collapse. This system is responsible for transporting heat and salt through the global ocean. Rising temperatures have weakened the AMOC’s strength, leading scientists to believe it is approaching a crucial tipping point.

The potential collapse of the AMOC could have devastating effects on Europe and the Amazon rainforest. According to the study, some regions of Europe could see average temperatures decrease by 30 degrees Celsius over a century if the AMOC collapses. It is important to note that these changes could be significantly felt over the course of just decades, with February temperatures in Norway potentially dropping by 3.5 degrees Celsius per decade.

The study’s authors emphasize that no realistic adaptation measures can deal with such rapid temperature changes. In the Amazon, scientists have observed a drastic change in precipitation patterns, with the dry season becoming the wet season and vice versa. This could severely disrupt the ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest.

In a separate study published by Nature Geoscience in 2021, it was determined that the AMOC was at its weakest point in the past 1,000 years. According to Peter de Menocal, the president of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts, the collapse of the AMOC would have significant and far-reaching implications for every person on the planet.

By Editor

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