The ocean conveyor belt regulates global temperatures, which means that the deceleration of the Atlantic Ocean current could have devastating effects. This is what could happen with the weak circulation of AMOC. ( Scott Eisen | Getty Images )
The findings of two new studies revealed that the Atlantic Ocean current has slowed significantly and is currently at its slowest pace in 1,600 years.
Ocean currents and global Warming
Researchers attribute the deceleration of the current known as the Circulation of Southern Meridional Depletion to global warming.
"This weakening is revealed by a characteristic" spatial and seasonal fingerprint of the sea surface ", Stefan Rahmstorf, of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, and his colleagues they wrote in one of the studies published in the journal Nature.
"We found this fingerprint in a high resolution climate model in response to atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations, and in the trends of temperature observed since the late nineteenth century. "
Effects of a weak AMOC circulation
The so-called" ocean transport belt "plays an important role in the regulation of global temperatures and it is feared that the phenomenon will have serious consequences". AMOC transports heat around the globe and if this movement stops, the heat will not be distributed.
Delia Oppo, of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, and one of the authors of the other study that was also published in the journal Nature said that a complete disintegration of AMOC is unlikely, but that the circulation system of the ocean will probably continue to weaken.
Previous studies have suggested that a weak circulation of AMOC could lead to worse dryness in the Sahel Africa, which could increase drought in this African region bordering the Sahara desert.
A collapse in the AMOC could also mean that there would be less heat reaching western Europe that could cause the region to sink in severe winters, the type of scenario similar to that depicted, albeit extremely, in the film The Day After Tomorrow . A weaker AMOC could also increase summer heat waves.
The researchers also said that a significantly weakened system could cause more severe storms in Europe and a more rapid increase in sea levels on the east coast of the US. UU Significant changes in ocean circulation could also affect fisheries in the United States that can be devastated by warming waters, thus affecting livelihoods and food sources.
The ocean becomes less effective at absorbing carbon dioxide with a weakened AMOC and this can lead to greater amounts of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere worsening global warming.
Stop global warming to avoid AMOC disruption
The researchers said the potential effect of interrupting AMOC is one of the reasons for doing something about climate change. 19659005] "We must avoid interrupting the Amoc at all costs," Rahmstorf said. "It's one more reason why we should stop global warming as soon as possible."
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