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How close is the tipping point? New studies on the Atlantic current system

Using observational data, statistical analyses and modelling, a joint research team from Kiel and Warnemünde has now investigated changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) over the past hundred years.
Climate models consistently predict a significant slowdown of the Gulf Stream in the future if CO2 emissions continue to rise, the ocean continues to warm and the Greenland ice sheet continues to melt. (Photo: IOW / R. Prien)

With a new publication in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change, climate researchers from Kiel and Warnemünde once again contribute to the understanding of changes in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) – also known as the “Gulf Stream System”. It is important both for the global climate as well as for climate events in Europe. The authors focus on the question, whether human-induced climate change is already slowing down this global oceanic circulation. According to the study, natural variations are still dominant. Improved observation systems could help detect human influences on the current system at an early stage.

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