Climate Change Could Disrupt Atlantic Ocean Currents

Image Source: NASA/ Reuters

The natural circulation process that carries hot surface water towards Greenland, and sinks as it cools before flowing back towards the Equator closer to the seafloor, what we call AMOC (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation) in scientific terminology, is on the edge now.

The latest research report published in the journal Science Advances have indicated the prevalent climatic models are somewhat incomplete and bias. They largely underestimate the harmful effects of climate change and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. In fact, the deterioration in weather quality has already begun. This has led to some coarse weather conditions in parts of the Europe and the UK (United Kingdom), particularly in winter.

The stable AMOC model that the scientists have predicted could actually turn out a mere fallacy now. “If we correct the stability bias of the AMOC … and then add global warming forcing, the AMOC actually collapses after a couple of hundred years. Climate models over stabilize the AMOC and shows it very stable. Even under global warming they have only moderate weakening,” Wei Liu, a former Scripps Institute of Oceanography postdoctoral researcher now at Yale University and lead author of the paper stated to the CBC News a few days back.

Due to havoc deterioration in quality of climate, the AMOC has already lost much of its strength, leading to harsher winters in the UK and parts of Europe. Now, scientists are of the view that the complete breakdown of AMOC is quite possible. It may expand the ice sheets in the North Atlantic region.

The cooling in the north Atlantic is so powerful that it could lead to an unprecedented cooling in the north Atlantic. On one hand, the world heats up, but Europe may see extraordinary cold in the next hundreds of years.

According to Paul Myers, a professor at the University of Alberta’s Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences opined that the study is important in highlighting the bias in current models. However, there may be other considerations to include in future models.

More research on this particular subject – AMOC is still on. Though, not fully, for layman, the superhit Hollywood film “The Day After Tomorrow” was a precursor to what’s happening now in the world of science.

Since 1990, Co2 level in the atmosphere has increased over abundantly making the breathing of fresh air a challenge. Also, the climate is changing more promptly making the possibility of harsher winters in the regions of the UK, Europe and Canada as quite possible.

What the Two Models on AMOC Say

Initially it was stated by a group of scientists on one model that AMOC was largely stable and may collapse only 300 years after the doubling of Carbon Dioxide.

Contrarily, another model has recently stated that AMOC collapse will bring harsher climatic conditions apart from expansion of ice sheets in sea. It has already stated. It also says that there will drop in temperature to around 4.3 degree (F) over the North Atlantic belt and around 12.6 degrees (F) near Northwest Europe.