The "ocean conveyor belt", as the currents of the Atlantic Ocean are known, play an important role in the regulation of temperatures throughout the world. This phenomenon has slowed to become a crawl, and right now it is at its slowest pace in 1,000 years.
What this means for the planet is worrisome. According to the researchers who made this discovery, if the ocean currents do not work, it will lead to extreme climates in different parts of the world, informs the Inquisitr. The odds of harsher winters and fiercer storms are likely in the near future. This system of oceanic currents of the North Atlantic has been continuously weakened during the twentieth century by approximately 15 percent.
The AMOC current works by bringing warm water from the equatorial surface to the northern tundra. Once the water cools, it descends to the deep ocean, which is then transported back to the equatorial belt. This is beneficial for both parts of the world, raising temperatures on the one hand, while cooling the other.
What has caused this deceleration?
The short answer is global warming and climate change. For warm water to move fast, it has to be of a certain density. The warm water is less dense, therefore, it moves to the surface and flows freely. As the ice melts rapidly in Greenland and other regions of the Arctic, it floods the sea with fresh and cold water. The cold water is really dense and really reduces the speed of the conveyor belt.
It will lead to a less effective ocean current, which in turn will mean that climate regulation will not take place as it should. Climatic extremes are predicted in different parts of the world. Europe, for example, is likely to be hit by hard and long winters. The east coast of the USA On the other hand, you will see a rapid rise in sea level, altering life and livelihoods along the east coast.
This recent study, conducted by a team of scientists from Germany and the United Kingdom, can be seen as an update to a NASA report published in 2010 where they discovered that AMOC was not decreasing significantly.
The previous study, entitled "Observed Fingerprint of a Weakening of the Atlantic Ocean Turning Circulation" was published for the first time in the journal Nature.