The second largest ocean in the world, the Atlantic Ocean is slowing, its water current is slowing to be specific. The current of the Atlantic Ocean is the exchange of warm water from the north and cold water from the south that regulates the global climate and heat flow, which is why it is often referred to as an ocean conveyor belt. But recent studies suggest that the Atlantic Meridional Circulation Circulation (AMOC), which is the real term for the Atlantic Ocean current, is slowing. In fact, it is currently at its lowest level in the last 1,000 years. There are two approaches undertaken by researchers that can explain the slowing pace of the water flow that is linked to climate change.
According to Jon Robson, one of the authors of the study and researcher at the University of Reading states that after the historical data available regarding the AMOC, the last 100 years reported the lowest point compared to the last thousands of years. This has led scientists to study it more thoroughly. The current statistics were published by two new research articles published in the journal Nature, where both take a different approach to explain how and what happened behind the slowdown of AMOC in the last 150 years.
The researcher pointed to the formation of dense water that is the product of the tipping and exchange of warm and cold water. However, fresh water formed from melting ice or from any other source is not too dense, which creates a problem during rollover. If it is elongated, fresh water can close the AMOC that has made scientists paranoid. A similar perspective was shown in the movie "The Day After Tomorrow (2004)", however, the events and effects that will take place if the AMOC goes off completely will not be as catastrophic as shown. Jon affirmed the fact that that incident has already been witnessed during the last ice age when AMOC was completely closed. It also means that it can happen in the future as well, however, scientists still do not know the timeline and its probability so far.
But how did the scientists discover the slowdown of AMOC? Two different studies conducted by separate groups of researchers are published in the journal Nature. According to the first study, researchers analyze sediments at the bottom of the ocean to study the strength of the current where the moving sediments are reliable evidence to determine the AMOC rhythm. To put things in context, a weaker ocean current would move smaller grains of sediment whereas a strong current would change larger grains. This is similar to how strong currents in rivers move rocks and rocks. The second study took a different approach where researchers used computerized climate models and studied the effects on ocean water based on trends in sea temperature. The findings were surprising since it was recorded that the AMOC has slowed by 15% in the last 100 years, which means that the current has decreased the overturn and overestimated 3 million cubic meters of water per second of water compared to its real volume.
Researchers are studying the "turning point" of AMOC deceleration. A turning point is a point at which the current process becomes faster than normal with a very low probability of regaining its original state. Similarly, researchers are looking at AMOC's inflection point to determine when the system will reach a point where it weakens faster than usual, which will eventually lead to catastrophic events such as an ice age. Max Holmes, a climate scientist, said that slowing the AMOC has triggered a strange response to global warming in which some regions have received a cold climate.
There is an ongoing dispute between the reason behind the slowdown in AMOC, however, it is clear that it will have an impact on ocean ecosystems, such as the bottoms of deep-sea sponges and coral reefs, where the latter runs towards its inflection point beyond which, there is no possibility of returning Professor Murray Roberts of the University of Edinburgh who coordinates the Atlas project told the BBC News that "these delicate ecosystems depend on ocean currents to supply their food and disperse to their young. " Climate change has made ocean ecosystems more sensitive than ever before and the deceleration of the ocean current can be a disaster as it acts as a road to transport food and supplies to all oceanic ecosystems.
From now on, reducing the production of greenhouse gas emissions can help prevent global warming, which is associated with the increase in temperature and the weakening of ocean currents.