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Atlantic Ocean’s Current System (AMOC)

Atlantic Ocean’s Current System(AMOC):

According to a recent study, the Atlantic Ocean’s current system-AMOC, an engine of the Northern Hemisphere’s climate, could be weakening to such an extent that it could soon bring big changes to the world’s weather.

  • Climate models have shown that the AMOC is at its weakest in more than a 1,000 years.
  • However, it has not been known whether the weakening is due to a change in circulation or it is to do with the loss of stability.
  • The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is a large system of ocean currents that carry warm water from the tropics northwards into the North Atlantic.
  • The AMOC is a large system of ocean currents, like a conveyor belt, driven by differences in temperature and salt content – the water’s density.
  • As warm water flows northwards it cools and some evaporation occurs, which increases the amount of salt.
  • Low temperature and a high salt content make the water denser, and this dense water sinks deep into the ocean.
  • The cold, dense water slowly spreads southwards, several kilometres below the surface.
  • Eventually, it gets pulled back to the surface and warms in a process called “upwelling” and the circulation is complete.
  • If the AMOC collapsed, it would increase cooling of the Northern Hemisphere, sea level rise in the Atlantic, an overall fall in precipitation over Europe and North America and a shift in monsoons in South America and Africa.