Predicting the Atlantic thermohaline circulation is difficult. Now the researchers have made a model that predicts how the fading of the AMOC would affect the weather.
Scientists warn that the weakening of the Atlantic Ocean Current System (AMOC) could have catastrophic consequences for the climate.
Researchers have already stated that signs of the AMOC’s fading are already visible.
Science journal Science Advance published modeling on Friday that shows how the waning of the AMOC would affect sea level and weather.
The AMOC ocean current plays a decisive role in the climate of the entire world.
A weakening of the AMOC would also weaken the Gulf Stream. Thanks to ocean currents, Europe’s climate is milder than elsewhere in the world at the same latitudes.
If the Gulf Stream were to stop completely, it would know that temperatures in Europe would drop and storms would increase.
Temperatures in Europe could drop by up to 30 degrees at the turn of the century. In the southern hemisphere, on the other hand, temperatures would rise sharply during the same period.
– No realistic adaptation method can withstand such rapid changes, says the head of the study René van Westen According to CNN.
Meteorologist Kerttu Kotakorven according to The weakening of the Gulf Stream reduces its warming effect.
In Finland, the cessation of the Gulf Stream could be seen as a cooling of the weather and various extreme weather phenomena. The change caused by the standstill could cool the climate by up to 10–15 degrees, Kotakorpi wrote in 2021.
On the other hand, it is not known how global warming would affect temperatures in a situation where ocean currents would stop.
Climate change as the main cause of the weakening of the circulation
Predicting the complex Atlantic thermohaline circulation is difficult, but theoretical ocean and climate models have shown that the Gulf Stream will weaken as the climate warms.
On the other hand, it is known from studies that the current has weakened in the past, for example during ice ages.
In 2021 Nature Geoscience – magazine showed that the Gulf Stream and other ocean currents belonging to the same circulation were at their weakest in over a thousand years.
However, no one can say with certainty when the currents will stop.
According to the researchers’ assessment, the cycle may stop in the next few decades, or it may change only after hundreds of years.
One of the biggest uncertainties at the moment is the melting of Greenland.
The melting of large ice masses can affect the thermohaline circulation of the Atlantic and at the same time also the Gulf Stream, researchers have stated.