(NewsSpace.com) – The Gulf Stream is a vital current that brings the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico into the Atlantic Ocean. It has a major influence on the climate of the regions it touches and if it were interrupted, it could have devastating effects. Experts are cautioning that this might very well happen and a study predicts it might occur sooner rather than later.
In 2021, researches noticed what they called a tipping point in the current, which they noted is at its slowest in 1,600 years. Through analysis, some scientists have cautioned that the collapse of the system could be imminent, occurring as early as 2025. Others say there’s not enough data to accurately predict a timeline and said it could be 100 years out. However, the one thing they do agree on is the fact that a reduction in carbon emissions is necessary to prevent the collapse.
Further complicating the system is the fact that Greenland’s ice cap is melting and sending cold water into the system, which is smothering them.
Should the Gulf Stream, also known as the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), collapse, it would affect areas along the East Coast. It would also have a noticeable impact on Canada and European countries, which rely on the currents to bring warm water north, which results in warmer weather. The AMOC affects Florida’s climate as well, keeping it warmer in the winters and cooler in the summers.
But that’s not all. The currents are responsible for bringing the rains that water the lands in South America, India, and West Africa. Less rainfall would lead to increased food scarcity, which could further complicate the nations that have significant populations that go hungry. The collapse of the AMOC would also affect the Amazon rainforests, the Arctic ice sheets, and increase the sea level on the East Coast of the United States. It’s such a vital part to the globe’s climate that any interruption would trigger events requiring drastic action.
Professor Peter Ditlevsen of the University of Copenhagen in Denmark led the study and said the world “should be very worried.”
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