Wednesday, October 27, 2021

Scientists see stronger evidence of slowed circulation in the Atlantic Ocean, a climate ‘Achilles heel’

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The new research applies statistical analysis to show that these metrics are in sync and that nine out of 11 show a clear trend.

Previous research had suggested that AMOC was at its weakest point in a millennium or more, and suggested a weakening of about 15 percent since 1950. But as for the latest evidence, “I think it greatly strengthens that conclusion,” said Stefan Rahmstorf, research author and oceanographer at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

The study was published in Nature Geoscience by scientists at the Potsdam Institute, Maynooth University in Ireland, and University College London.

AMOC is powered by two vital components of seawater: temperature and salt. In the North Atlantic, warm, salty water flows north off the coast of America, carrying the heat of the tropics. But when it reaches mid-latitudes it cools and around Greenland the cooling and salinity create enough density for the water to begin to sink deep below the surface.

The water then switches to the south and travels to the submerged southern hemisphere, where it heads towards Antarctica like …

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