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Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

In this article we will discuss Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation

In this article, we will discuss Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation. So, let’s get started.

According to the recently released IPCC’s Report, Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is losing its stability and is very likely to decline over the 21st century.

The ocean has an interconnected current, or circulation, system powered by wind, tides, the Earth’s rotation (Coriolis effect), the sun (solar energy), and water density differences.

Key Points

About AMOC:

It is a large system of ocean currents.
It is the Atlantic branch of the ocean conveyor belt or ThermoHaline Circulation (THC), and distributes heat and nutrients throughout the world’s ocean basins.

Working of AMOC:

  • AMOC carries warm surface waters from the tropics towards the Northern Hemisphere, where it cools and sinks.
  • It then returns to the tropics and then to the South Atlantic as a bottom current. From there it is distributed to all ocean basins via the Antarctic Circumpolar Current.
  • The ACC is the most important current in the Southern Ocean, and the only current that flows completely around the globe.
  • Implications of decline of AMOC:
  • Without a proper AMOC and Gulf Stream, Europe will be very cold.
  • Gulf Stream, a part of the AMOC, is a warm current responsible for mild climate at the Eastern coast of North America as well as Europe.
  • An AMOC shutdown would cool the northern hemisphere and decrease rainfall over Europe.
  • It can also have an effect on the El Nino.
  • El Nino is a climate pattern that describes the unusual warming of surface waters in the eastern tropical Pacific Ocean.
  • It can also shift monsoons in South America and Africa.

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