Atlantic Ocean Currents Have Slowed Down to a 1000 Year Low

Rodiano Bonacci
Aprile 16, 2018

In two separate studies, scientists noted that an Atlantic Ocean current instrumental in regulating Earth's climate has slowed down considerably in post-industrial years.

To take into viewpoint how sharp of a modification that 15 percent is, the Atlantic Ocean has actually seen a decline of about 3 million cubic meters of water per 2nd, which amounts to the quantity of water in 15 Amazon rivers.

An Atlantic Ocean current known as the "conveyor belt of the ocean", and credited for helping regulate our planet's climate, is now moving at its slowest pace in 1,000 years.

In recent years, however, man-made climate change has led to ice melt in Greenland and the rest of the Arctic, as freshwater drains into the ocean, with its density causing Atlantic Ocean currents to slow down.

The circulation is also critical for fisheries off the U.S. Atlantic coast, a key part of New England's economy that have seen changes in recent years, with the cod fishery collapsing as lobster populations have boomed off the ME coast.

Some of the AMOC's disruption may be driven by the melting ice sheet of Greenland, another outcome of climate change that is altering the region's water composition and interrupts the natural processes.

This is "something that climate models have predicted for a long time, but we weren't sure it was really happening. I think it is happening", said one of the study's authors, Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. "And I think it's bad news". According to study co-author and University of Reading researcher Jon Robson, the AMOC's movement has been especially slow in the last 100 years or so.

There were two studies (both published in Nature) which approached the matter in different ways.

But like the first study, the second too finds that the circulation has remained weak, or even weakened further, through the present era of warming. He said that the report shows the lowest point as compared to the last few 1000 years.

"There's uncertainty about when, but the analogy between what happened 150 years ago and today is quite strong."

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