Scientists from the University of California-Irvine have warned of an impending disaster for our oceans caused by global warming.
The researchers analyzed data from over three-dozen different climate models and found they predicted serious problems with the deep water circulation pattern of the ocean.
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the Southern Meridional Overturning Circulation are threatened by global warming. If these currents slow or stop, then the planet’s ability to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere will be limited, making the problem even worse. Under worst-case scenario analysis, the researchers predicted the currents will cease entirely by 2300, although most moderate models predict a 42% reduction by 2100.
According to UCI professor of Earth system science and study co-author J. Keith Moore:
“Analysis of the projections from 36 Earth system models over a range of climate scenarios shows that unchecked global warming could lead to a shutdown of the ocean deep circulation. This would be a climate disaster similar in magnitude to complete melting of the ice sheets on land.”
“A disruption in circulation would reduce ocean uptake of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, intensifying and extending the hot climate conditions. Over time the nutrients that support marine ecosystems would increasingly become trapped in the deep ocean, leading to declining global-ocean biological productivity. Our analysis also shows that reducing greenhouse gas emissions now can prevent this complete shutdown of the deep circulation in the future.”
You can find the original study here.