Atlantic Ocean nears 'devastating' tipping point

Research shows that the circulation in the Atlantic Ocean is approaching a tipping point, which is "bad news for the climate system and humanity."

The scientists who conducted the study said they were surprised by the expected speed of the collapse once this point is reached, although they noted that it is still impossible to predict how quickly it will occur.

Using computer models and previous data, scientists have developed an early warning indicator of disruption of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation (Amoc), a system of ocean currents whose extensive circulation is an important factor in regulating global climate.

They discovered that Amoc was on track for drastic changes that had not occurred in more than 10.000 years and that would have catastrophic consequences for much of the world.

The Amoc, part of the Gulf Stream and other powerful currents, is a marine conveyor belt that transports heat, carbon and nutrients from the tropics to the Arctic Circle, where they cool and sink into the depths of the ocean.

This stimulation helps distribute energy throughout the Earth and moderate the effects of human-caused global warming.

But the Atlantic current system is collapsing as Greenland glaciers and Arctic ice sheets are melting faster than expected, dumping fresh water into the sea and blocking the flow of warmer, saltier water from the south. .

The value of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation (Amoc) has fallen 15% since 1950 and is at its weakest level in more than a millennium, according to previous research that sparked speculation about an imminent collapse.

To date there is no consensus on the seriousness of what is happening in the Atlantic Ocean

Research last year based on sea surface temperature changes concluded that the tipping point could be between 2025 and 2095.

However, the UK Met Office said major and rapid changes to the Atlantic Meridional Circulation (Amoc) were "highly unlikely" in the 21st century.

Un new article published in the journal Science Advances breaks new ground by examining the warning signs of salinity in the South Atlantic, between Cape Town and Buenos Aires.

By simulating changes over 2.000 years in computer models of the global climate, he found that a slow decline in climate could lead to a sudden collapse in less than 100 years with devastating and disastrous consequences.

The article states that the results give a "clear answer" as to whether such a radical change is possible: "This is bad news for the climate system and humanity, because for now the Amok tilt can only be considered a concept." and the addiction will disappear.
after taking into account the entire climate system along with all its additional feedbacks.”

It also describes some of the consequences of the collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation (Amoc).

In some areas, sea level in the Atlantic Ocean will rise by up to 1 meter, causing flooding in many coastal cities.

The dry and rainy seasons in the Amazon will change, which could push the already weakened rainforest to a tipping point.

Temperatures around the world will fluctuate much more erratically.

The southern hemisphere will become warmer.

In Europe it will be much colder and it will rain less. While this may seem attractive compared to current warming trends, changes will occur 10 times faster than now, making adaptation nearly impossible.

"We were surprised by the speed with which the transfer occurred," said lead author René van Westen of Utrecht University.

"It would be devastating." He said there isn't enough data yet to say whether this will happen next year or next century, but when it does, the changes will be irreversible in human time.

Meanwhile, the direction of travel is certainly a cause for concern. “We are moving in that direction. That's a little scary,” van Westen said. "We need to take climate change much more seriously."