The Gulf Stream is one of the most important potential tipping points on the planet. This ocean current that originates near Florida and disappears into the Atlantic Ocean is a true climate regulator and if it collapsed it would have devastating global effects. announce now”Watchman» This Thursday, based on a Research A modern world, the warning signs of its collapse have been revealed.
At the slowest point in 1600 years
Scientists have been examining the AMOC (ocean current system that includes the Gulf Stream) for decades, and were already able to conclude that the currents were at their slowest point for at least 1,600 years. AMOC transports hot water northward toward the North Pole. There, it cools, becomes denser and sinks, before returning to the south. But global warming is hampering water cooling, while melting ice in the Arctic, especially in Greenland, is flooding the region with less dense freshwater, weakening the AMOC current. However, according to new analyzes, the Gulf Stream could simply stop. Researchers have already noted an “almost complete loss of stability over the past century”.
Just out: Our new paper confirming the unprecedented slowdown in the Gulf Stream system (also known as the inverted Atlantic circulation, ????????????) in Nature Geoscience! Tweet embed string. 11/1 pic.twitter.com/2GovKz5evk
– Stefan Ramstorf (@rahmstorf) February 25, 2021
Dire consequences around the world
If the Gulf Stream really stops, there will be dire consequences. This would severely disrupt the rains on which billions of people depend for food in India, South America and West Africa. This will lead to more storms and lower temperatures in Europe. Sea level will rise off eastern North America. Finally, it would also endanger the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice caps.
“Frightening, we can’t let this happen.”
It is impossible to predict the date of such an event with current data and due to the complexity of ocean circulation. It can happen within 10 years or several centuries. But in any case, given the impact it will have, “it’s something that cannot be allowed to happen,” said Niklas Bowers, of the Institute for Human Rights Research. The influence of the climate of Potsdam (Germany), which conducted research. The latter added: “The already visible signs of destabilization are something I did not expect and find frightening.”
According to the scientist, “The only thing that needs to be done is to keep emissions as low as possible. The likelihood of this very dangerous event increases with every gram of carbon dioxide we release into the atmosphere.” Luke Caesar, of the University of Maynooth in Ireland, was not involved in the research, but when he gave an interview to “The Guardian” he said: “The study method cannot give us an exact timing of a possible collapse, but the analysis provides evidence that the AMOC has already lost its stability, which is What I see is a warning that we may be closer to the AMOC tilt than we think.”
Many studies warn about the state of our climate
Recent research by Niklas Boerse had already warned that a large part of the Greenland ice sheet was melting, which could lead to a sharp rise in sea level. Other studies have recently shown that the Amazon rainforest now emits more carbon dioxide than it absorbs. Finally, research has shed light on concerns about methane emissions in Siberia during the 2020 heat wave.
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