Look Out, Europe: Melting Arctic Ice Could Weaken The Gulf Stream, Researchers Say

2017-08-08T15:42:29+00:00 August 8, 2017|
The sun sets over melting sea ice on Peel Sound along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on July 23. (Credit:: David Goldman/AP)

(Click to enlarge) The sun sets over melting sea ice on Peel Sound along the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago on July 23. (Credit:: David Goldman/AP)

The loss of Arctic sea ice as a result of global warming could have dramatic and potentially catastrophic effects on the climate of much of the northern hemisphere, according to a new report.

(From Yahoo! News / by Michael Walsh) — Scientists at Yale University and the University of Southampton recently demonstrated that the ongoing loss of sea ice is actively changing one of Earth’s main systems for transporting water — the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

To put it simply, AMOC circulates cold, dense water from the north Atlantic southward and warm, salty water from the tropical Atlantic northward. This system, which includes the Gulf Stream, plays a major role in maintaining the global climate, and its deterioration could have a dramatic impact.

“We have shown that this contraction of Arctic sea ice leads over the course of several decades to the weakening of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation,” climate scientist and study co-author Alexey Fedorov told Yahoo News.

Conventional thinking maintained that a weakening of ocean water circulation would prevent warm water from reaching the Arctic — resulting in a growth of sea ice. According to the researchers, however, this overlooks the mechanism by which the loss of sea ice affects AMOC over the course of decades.

Fedorov, a professor in Yale’s department of geology and geophysics, worked on the study with Florian Sévellec, an associate professor at the University of Southampton and former Yale postdoctoral researcher, and Wei Liu, a Yale postdoctoral associate. It was published in the Nature Climate Change journal on Monday.

Read the full story here: https://uk.news.yahoo.com/look-europe-melting-arctic-ice-stop-gulf-stream-researchers-say-132846620.html