A study warns of an "irreversible transmission" of ocean that could freeze parts of North America


A study warns of an "irreversible transmission" of ocean currents that could rapidly freeze parts of North America.

In a new study published Thursday, scientists reported that a vast system of ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean - including the Gulf Stream - has been disrupted by human-caused climate change. If this system collapses, it will lead to drastic changes in weather patterns around the world.

The Atlantic Meridian Rotation, or AMOC, transports warm, salty water from the tropics northward at the ocean surface and excellent water southward on the ocean floor.

"The inversion of the Atlantic meridian is one of the major circulation systems on our planet," said study author Niclas Boers of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany.

The results of a similar 2018 study showed comparisons to the 2004 scientifically inaccurate disaster film The Day After Tomorrow, which used stopping the ocean current as a prelude. At the time, the study authors said the collapse was at least decades away, but it would be a disaster.

The new study's authors said any potential collapse of the current ocean system would have severe consequences worldwide.

If this circulation stops, it could lead to extreme cold in Europe and parts of North America, raise sea levels along the eastern coast of the United States, and disrupt the monsoons that provide water to most of the world, the Washington Post said.

According to the Guardian, it will also threaten the Amazon rainforest and Antarctic ice sheets.

Researchers studying ancient climate change also found evidence that the AMOC could suddenly turn off, causing extreme temperature fluctuations and other dramatic shifts in global weather systems, the paper said.

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