The continuous slowdown of the Gulf Stream system can impose severe negative impact on the marine ecosystems, including the sea level and weather mechanism, in the United States and Europe, according to a new study.
The slowdown of the Gulf Stream system has been triggered by the human-caused global warming.
The Atlantic overturning, which is also known as the Gulf Stream system, was one of the most vital heat transport systems of the Earth that has been pumping warm water towards north and cold water in the south. The Atlantic system is also responsible for maintaining the mild climate in the north-western part of Europe.
The scientists have found evidence for the overturning slowdown. According to them, there are multiple lines of observation that suggests that the current system in recent decades has been weaker than earlier in the last century and even in the last millennium.
The gradual and accelerated melting of the ice-sheet in Greenland, caused by human influenced global warming, is a possible biggest contributor to the slowdown of the overturning.
The researchers call the recent changes unprecedented since the year 900 AD, which strongly suggests that they are caused by global warming which has been caused by human activities.
The overturning in Atlantic systems was triggered by the differences in the ocean water density. The warmer and lighter water from the south flows northwards, where the colder and heavier water is forced to sink to deeper layers of ocean and hence flows southwards.
The observed cooling along south of Greenland in the North Atlantic was stronger compared to what most computer-based climate simulations have predicted so far.
According to the researchers, the cooling down above the Northern Atlantic would slightly lower the continued pace of warming of the continents. The researchers are not expecting a new ice age. But, it is well established that a gradual change in the circulation of Atlantic Ocean could impose major negative effects.
And in the case the Atlantic Ocean circulation weakens to a greater extent, it can even lead to a complete breakdown. This mean the situation will lead to a relatively rapid and hard-to-reverse change.