Published on: August 10, 2021



What is in news : AMOC is getting weaker due to increase in global temperature

What is AMOC :

  • Large system of ocean currents
  • Atlantic branch of the ocean conveyor belt or Thermohaline circulation (THC), and distributes heat and nutrients throughout the world’s ocean basins
  • Carries warm surface waters from the tropics towards the Northern Hemisphere, where it cools and sinks
  • 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

Has it been weakened before : AMOC and THC strength has always been fluctuating, mainly if you look at the late Pleistocene time period (last 1 million years). The extreme glacial stages have seen weaker circulation and slowdown in AMOC, while the glacial terminations have shown a stronger AMOC and circulation

What are the implications :

  • Gulf Stream in Europe will be very cold
  • Cool the northern hemisphere
  • Decrease rainfall over Europe
  • Prominent cooling over the northern North Atlantic and neighbouring areas, sea ice increases over the Greenland-Iceland-Norwegian seas and to the south of Greenland Significant southward rain-belt migration over the tropical Atlantic