A new study published this week found that the current critical system in the Atlantic Ocean that helps redistribute heat around the planet is extremely weak. The stream is called the Gulf Stream, and according to the researchers in the study, it is moving more slowly now than it has been in the last 1,600 years. Interestingly, a similar study made the same claim in 2018.
Scientists think that’s part of a reason Present The slowdown is associated with a warming climate and the melting of ice that is altering the ocean’s water balance. The Gulf Stream moving across the east coast of the United States is an essential part of the system known as the South Atlantic Solstice Circulation, or AMOC. Interestingly, this ocean current slowdown was part of the premise of “The Day After Tomorrow” that hit theaters in 2004 and dealt with the implications of the current halt entirely.
Scientists say there is no sudden stop to the incoming stream anytime soon. Researchers believe that circulation has slowed by at least 15 percent compared to 1950. Researchers say that current has weakened by an unprecedented amount in the past millennium. They also believe that slowing the current affects the ground.
By the end of the century, they expected the circulation to slow by between 34 and 45 percent if the planet continued to warm. While most of the heat hitting the Earth is redistributed by the atmosphere, some is moved by ocean currents via a method known as the global ocean conveyor belt. This is a global system of currents that connect the world’s oceans, moving in different directions horizontally and vertically.
Research has shown that the Atlantic part of the conveyor belt, AMOC, is pushing the existing system to move water at a rate of 100 times the flow of the Amazon River. Scientists believe that as the ice in the Arctic melts at an accelerated pace, the currents are slowing down.