4 january 2017

[4C Note: The ocean current Of special concern to Europe (singled out in the article) is commonly called the Gulf Stream, which is defined by the Max Planck Institute as follows - "The Gulf Stream System brings warm tropical water towards Europe, thus giving western and northern Europe its unusually mild climate, as compared to other areas at the same geographical latitude." So doubling of atmospheric CO2 could lead to Arctic weather all over Europe - a new ice age. ]

Scientists say the global ocean circulation may be more vulnerable to shutdown than we thought

By Chelsea Harvey, Washington Post, January 4

Intense future climate change could have a far different impact on the world than current models predict, suggests a thought-provoking new study just out in the journal Science Advances. If atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations were to double in the future, it finds, a major ocean current — one that helps regulate climate and weather patterns all over the world — could collapse. And that could paint a very different picture of the future than what we’ve assumed so far.

The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation, or AMOC, is often described as a large oceanic conveyor belt. It’s a system of water currents that transports warm water northward from the Atlantic toward the Arctic, contributing to the mild climate conditions found in places like Western Europe. In the Northern Atlantic, the northward flowing surface water eventually cools and sinks down toward the bottom of the ocean, and another current brings that cooler water back down south again. The whole process is part of a much larger system of overturning currents that circulates all over the world, from pole to pole.


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