Potential instability in Atlantic Ocean water circulation systemLeave a Comment
January 4, 2017 Yale University ScienceDaily See full article here
One of the world’s largest ocean circulation systems may not be as stable as today’s weather models predict, according to a new study. In fact, changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation — the same deep-water ocean current featured in the movie ‘The Day After Tomorrow’ — could occur quite abruptly, in geologic terms, the study says.
- …AMOC is responsible for carrying oceanic heat northward in the Atlantic Ocean. It consists of a lower limb of denser, colder water that flows south, and an upper limb of warm, salty water that flows north. The system is a major factor for regional climate change, affecting the Atlantic rim countries, especially those in Europe.
“In current models, AMOC is systematically biased to be in a stable regime,” Liu said. “A bias-corrected model predicts a future AMOC collapse with prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighboring areas. This has enormous implications for regional and global climate change.“…
A collapse of the AMOC system, in Liu’s model, would cool the Northern Atlantic Ocean, cause a spreading of Arctic sea ice, and move tropical Atlantic rain belts farther south. …the researchers said a significant weather change could happen quickly in the next few centuries…..
Wei Liu, Shang-Ping Xie, Zhengyu Liu and Jiang Zhu. Overlooked possibility of a collapsed Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation in warming climate. Science Advances, 2017 DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1601666