climate catastrophe 2021: Collapse of Gulf Stream

Climate catastropheScientists have discovered warning signals of the Gulf Stream’s impending collapse. According to experts, a shutdown would have disastrous global consequences and should not be allowed to occur. Climate scientists have discovered evidence of the Gulf Stream collapsing, one of the planet’s major potential tipping points.

The currents known as the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation showed an almost total loss of stability over the previous century, according to the study (AMOC). The currents are already the lowest they’ve been in at least 1,600 years, but a new study shows they’re about to shut down completely. The rains that billions of people rely on for food in India, South America, and West Africa would be disrupted, storms would worsen and temperatures would drop in Europe, and sea levels would rise off the east coast of North America. It would also jeopardize the Amazon jungle and the Antarctic ice sheets.

Climate catastrophe
Climate catastrophe

For the time being, it is difficult to predict the date of any collapse due to the intricacy of the AMOC system and uncertainties about future degrees of global warming. It might happen in the next decade or two, or it could take decades. Experts, on the other hand, think that it should never be allowed to happen because of the huge implications. The symptoms of destabilization being apparent now is something that wouldn’t have imagined and find frightening, it’s something you simply can’t let happen. The exact CO2 amount that would cause an AMOC collapse is unknown. The only option is to reduce emissions as much as possible. With every gram of CO2,

we emit into the atmosphere, the chances of this potentially high-impact catastrophe occurring increase.

Tipping points — huge, rapid, and irreversible shifts in the climate – are causing increasing alarm among scientists, a large portion of the Greenland ice sheet is on the verge of melting, posing a significant hazard to global sea-level rise. Others have recently demonstrated that the Amazon rainforest now emits more CO2 than it absorbs and that 2020 Siberian heatwave resulted in alarming methane emissions. According to 2019 research, the globe may have already passed through a series of tipping points, posing an existential threat to civilization. 

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is slated to release a key report that will detail the worsening condition of the climate catastrophe.

Observation-based early-warning signs indicate a collapse of the AMOC, The AMOC has two states, according to ice-core and other evidence from the previous 100,000 years, one that is rapid & powerful, as witnessed throughout recent millennia, and one that is sluggish and feeble. Rising temperatures can cause the AMOC to flip states rapidly over the course of one to five decades. Although heavy, salty saltwater sinking into the Arctic Ocean causes the AMOC, freshwater melting from Greenland’s ice sheet is slowing the process down sooner than climate models projected.

To demonstrate how variations in ocean temperature and salinity might expose the AMOC’s instability, it is explained by the example of a chair, If all four legs stay on the floor, pushing a chair changes its position but has no effect on its stability. The chair’s posture and stability vary as it is tilted. Global warming is increasing the instability of the currents, not only changing their flow pattern, using eight independently recorded datasets of temperature and salinity dating back 150 years. This reduction [of the AMOC in recent decades] may be connected with an almost total loss of stability during the previous century, and the AMOC might be near to a crucial shift to its weak circulation mode. 

The study method cannot give an exact timing of a possible collapse. However, the analysis presents evidence that the AMOC has already lost stability, which I take as a warning that we may be closer to an AMOC tipping than we think. Signals of declining stability are concerning, the AMOC is at its lowest point in 1,600 years. However, we still don’t know whether or not a collapse will occur, or how near we are to it.

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Environmental Physics - Fundamental Laws of Nature - The Green Politics · September 8, 2021 at 2:32 pm

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