North Atlantic power responsible for the mild climate of North-West Europe can temporarily STOP
North Atlantic power responsible for the mild climate of North West Europe may temporarily STOP in the next century, scientists warn
- Melting water from Greenland and excessive rainfall can disrupt the natural flow
- Hot water flow from the tropics keeps Northern Europe relatively warm
- The team found a 15 percent chance of a temporary flow change in 100 years, which could lower the temperatures in the region
Global warming can, according to new research, lead to the gigantic network of ocean currents that spread heat to Northern Europe temporarily ceasing over the next 100 years.
The North Atlantic stream transports hot water from the Gulf of Mexico to Europe, which means that a large part of the northwestern parts of the continent has a relatively mild climate.
But melting water from Greenland and excessive rainfall due to climate change can disrupt this sea current, also known as the Atlantic Meridional Reversing Circulation.
Using simulations, scientists in the Netherlands predicted a 15 percent probability that the huge current network would “partially collapse” in the next 100 years.
Atlantic Ocean Circulation transports relatively warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to northwest Europe
WHAT IS THE NORTHERN ATLANTIC CURRENT?
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a system of ocean currents that transports warm water from the tropics north to the North Atlantic.
This ‘conveyor belt’ is driven by differences in temperature and salinity of the water.
It consists of a northern stream of warm, salt water in the upper layers of the Atlantic, and a southern stream of colder, deep waters.
This global process ensures that the world’s oceans are constantly mixed and that heat and energy are distributed throughout the earth.
Climate models suggest that the AMOC will weaken in the 21st century as greenhouse gases increase, the atmosphere warms up and the ocean retains more heat beneath the surface.
Source: With Office
“The oceans store an enormous amount of energy and the sea currents have a strong effect on the climate on earth,” said professor Fred Wubs at the University of Groningen.
Previous research has shown that more melt water – water released by the melting of snow or ice – from Greenland in combination with rainfall can slow or even reverse the North Atlantic flow, blocking the movement of heat to Europe.
Although the probability of a total collapse of the North Atlantic power in the next thousand years turned out to be insignificant, the researchers believe that a temporary interruption in the supply of relatively warm water to North-West Europe is much more likely.
The team, which has been studying ocean currents for about 20 years, based their research on complex comparisons describing liquid flows from the huge current system described in Scientific reports.
The North Atlantic current exhibits non-linear behavior, which means that small changes can have major effects.
Such temporary transitions can cause colder spells in the North Atlantic, although this needs to be verified by further studies.
The model also does not take into account significant changes in freshwater in the North Atlantic that may be caused by the melting of ice sheets.
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“Confirming our results through simulation with a high-resolution climate model will be the next challenge,” said Professor Wubs.
The North Atlantic stream has experienced a weakening of around 15 percent since the mid-twentieth century, according to a study published last year in Nature.
According to the Met Office, a weaker North Atlantic flow will bring less hot water to the north, and this will partially compensate for the warming effect of greenhouse gases in Western Europe.
An earlier study published in Scientific reports says “a collapsing AMOC destroys global warming for a period of 15-20 years.”
However, the gradual weakening of the electricity can cause damage to other regions and is unlikely to prevent global warming in the long term.
HOW MANY WILL SEA LEVELS IN THE FOLLOWING CENTURIES?
Global sea level could rise to 2300 as much as 1.2 meters (4 feet), even if we reach the 2015 Paris climate targets, scientists have warned.
The long-term change will be driven by a thaw of ice from Greenland to Antarctica, which will have to pull the coastlines again.
Sea level rise threatens cities from Shanghai to London, to low-lying parts of Florida or Bangladesh, and to entire nations such as the Maldives.
It is vital that we reduce emissions as quickly as possible to prevent even greater increases, a team of researchers led by Germany said in a new report.
By 2300, the report predicted that sea levels would rise by 0.7 – 1.2 meters, even if nearly 200 countries fully met the targets of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The goals set in the agreements include reducing greenhouse gas emissions to zero.
The ocean level will rise inexorably, because existing industrial gases that retain heat in the atmosphere will linger, causing more ice to melt.
In addition, water naturally expands as it heats above four degrees Celsius (39.2 ° F).
Every five years after 2020 in the peak of global emissions would mean an additional 20 centimeters (8 inch) rise in sea level by 2300.
“Sea level is often communicated as a very slow process that you can’t do much about … but the next 30 years really matter,” says lead author Dr. Matthias Mengel from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Potsdam, Germany, told Reuters.
None of the nearly 200 governments signing the Paris agreements is on track to deliver on its promises.