Tim Radford – Ocean current sends out chilling warning

New research forecasts much colder weather in northern Europe if rising CO2 emissions continue to impact on the Atlantic ocean current.

LONDON, 8 January, 2017 – Here is the long-term weather forecast for the North Atlantic, in a world in which carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere double: a powerful ocean current called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) will continue to weaken, and then collapse.

This is the ocean current that takes tropic heat northward, and then grows cold, dives to the ocean floor, and runs southward. And it is the current that delivers the heat that, for example, keeps the British Isles 5°C warmer than their latitude might dictate.

Carbon dioxide absorbs heat reflected from the rocks. And the more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the warmer the planet will become.

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