A critical system of Atlantic Ocean currents may be on the brink of collapse, scientists warn. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which plays a crucial role in regulating the Earth’s climate, has recently shown signs of trending toward a tipping point. The currents have been weakened by rising temperatures, affecting their balance of heat and salt.
Scientists have been warning about the potential collapse for decades, as the AMOC’s strength has been steadily declining. However, a recent study published in Science Advances offers no timetable for when a collapse could occur. If it happens, the effects could be catastrophic. Some regions of Europe could see average temperatures decrease by 30 degrees Celsius over a century, with February temperatures in Norway dropping by 3.5 degrees Celsius per decade. No realistic adaptation measures can deal with such rapid temperature changes.
In the Amazon rainforest, scientists predict a drastic change in precipitation patterns from their model, showing that the dry season becomes wet and vice versa. These changes could severely disrupt the ecosystem of the Amazon rainforest. In 2021, the AMOC was determined to be at its weakest point in 1,000 years according to a separate study published by Nature Geoscience. If it collapses entirely, it would affect every person on the planet – it’s that big and important