Is an important Atlantic stream, including the Gulf Stream, about to collapse?
There is evidence that the Atlantic circulation current (AMOC) has lost stability. It is responsible for the exchange of warm and cold water masses in the ocean and thus also affects the climate in Europe. This is what Dr. said. Niklas Bowers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK) in the specialized journal Nature Climate Change.
Doctor. Boers analyzed so-called fingerprints in the patterns of temperature and salinity at the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. The results indicated that “AMOC impairment over the past century is likely to be associated with a loss of stability.” This means that the Atlantic Current is close to the critical threshold at which the circulation system can collapse.
According to Dr. The Boers are currently weak as never before in the last thousand years. However, it remains unclear why exactly this is the case.
Several factors influence the current: the effects of warming Atlantic Ocean, fresh water inflow from melting ice sheets, increased precipitation, and water from rivers. According to Dr. Boers.
The factors should be closely examined. But it is already clear that it is linked to man-made climate change.
Can we still prevent the worst if we immediately introduce stricter climate protection measures?
Dr. explains. Boers at the request of Bild. “My results only show that the AMOC has lost stability in the last century and moved toward the critical threshold.
With every ton of carbon dioxide2We emit, and with the accompanying rise in temperature, we increase the flow of fresh water, for example through the melting of the Greenland ice sheet in the North Atlantic. This, in turn, brings the AMOC closer to the critical threshold.
It is not possible to determine the exact value or time of this threshold, but it is clear that with each ton of carbon dioxide2 Reducing the possibility of an AMOC collapse at some point.”
What happens to the climate?
The Atlantic Solstice Current is a complex system: it transports warm water from the tropics to the surface of the ocean towards the north and cold water south at greater depths. In Western Europe, this cycle ensures moderate temperatures, and it also affects other regions of the world.
So a collapse would have dire consequences for the climate.
“Because the flux transmits large amounts of energy over long distances, the consequences of a possible weakening or even a possible collapse of the system will certainly be serious. It will have an impact on the global weather system, from temperatures to precipitation, which we cannot yet accurately predict. – It must certainly be avoided.The Boers.
Loss of stability earlier than expected
The climate impact researcher states as a crucial point in his analysis that clear signs of AMOC destabilization can be seen “earlier and more clearly than expected”: “I wasn’t expecting that for a few decades at the earliest.”
Each gram of carbon monoxide2which is still being released increases the likelihood that the AMOC will eventually reach the critical value. After the critical point is crossed, the AMOC will largely cease within a few decades.
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