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The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation weakest for at least 1600 years - climate impact?


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  • Location: St Albans,
  • Location: St Albans,




    Given the importance of the AMOC to heat exchange between the ocean and the atmosphere, the varying strength of this system is thought to have major impacts on the global climate, and has been implicated widely in some of the most remarkable and abrupt climate changes of the past2. Direct measurements of the modern AMOC flow rates show a decline in its strength in the past decade3. Reconstructions of the natural variability and long-term trends of the AMOC are needed, however, to put these recent changes in context. Two papers in Nature, by Caesar et al.4 and Thornalley et al.5, report on past AMOC variability using different approaches. Both conclude that the modern AMOC is in an unusually subdued state, but they diverge in the details of how and when the AMOC’s decline commenced.

    My bold but I was wondering how a reduction in heat energy transfer from the tropical Atlantic and Gulf to the higher latitudes might impact on the climate.


    Specifically has the 'easterly' dominance of the UK weather since February been a result of this?

    Are we likely to see a highly active hurricane season due to increased energy being retained at lower latitudes?

    Are things likely to get worse or is there a natural equilibrium, as the energy builds will the current reinvigorate?

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