(ORDO NEWS) — The Gulf Stream and other currents in the North Atlantic have reached a minimum of activity that has not been observed for at least a thousand years.
The Guardian newspaper wrote about it with reference to the study of climatologists.
Experts from Germany, Ireland and Britain used an approach based on indirect, or proxy, data – evidence of the climate of the past: corals, ice cores, historical records of ship’s logs.
They concluded that the circulation of currents in the Atlantic remained stable until the mid-19th century, when the Little Ice Age ended. Since then, it began to weaken, the pace of which accelerated in the middle of the 20th century. Climatologists say climate change may be the reason.
Increased precipitation and increased melting of the Greenland ice sheet add fresh water to the warm current of the Gulf Stream, which reduces its salinity and, consequently, its density. At the same time, less water sinks to a depth, and its flow weakens.
According to researchers, the Gulf Stream system – a current that carries warm waters from the tropics to the shores of Europe – will weaken by another 34-45% by the end of the century.
This can cause a complete stop of the “current conveyor”. Scientists call a “conveyor” a system of interconnected deep currents that carry water across virtually the entire World Ocean.
Further slowing of the Atlantic Meridional Circulation (AMOC) – a system of ocean currents in the Atlantic that has a significant impact on the global climate – could lead to more storms in Britain, colder winters and abnormally hot summers, and droughts across Europe.
The weakening of the Gulf Stream will also lead to a rise in the level of the Atlantic Ocean.
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