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Gulf stream could collapse as early as 2025

The Guardian: “The Gulf Stream system could collapse as soon as 2025, a new study suggests. The shutting down of the vital ocean currents, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (Amoc) by scientists, would bring catastrophic climate impacts. Amoc was already known to be at its weakest in 1,600 years owing to global heating and researchers spotted warning signs of a tipping point in 2021. The new analysis estimates a timescale for the collapse of between 2025 and 2095, with a central estimate of 2050, if global carbon emissions are not reduced. Evidence from past collapses indicate changes of temperature of 10C in a few decades, although these occurred during ice ages…”

 Source: Ditlevsen, P., Ditlevsen, S. Warning of a forthcoming collapse of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation. [full text PDF – free] Nat Commun 14, 4254 (2023). – “The Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) is a major tipping element in the climate system and a future collapse would have severe impacts on the climate in the North Atlantic region. In recent years weakening in circulation has been reported, but assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), based on the Climate Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) model simulations suggest that a full collapse is unlikely within the 21st century. Tipping to an undesired state in the climate is, however, a growing concern with increasing greenhouse gas concentrations. Predictions based on observations rely on detecting early-warning signals, primarily an increase in variance (loss of resilience) and increased autocorrelation (critical slowing down), which have recently been reported for the AMOC. Here we provide statistical significance and data-driven estimators for the time of tipping. We estimate a collapse of the AMOC to occur around mid-century under the current scenario of future emissions.”

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