How might the weakening of the Atlantic Ocean’s system of currents affect the Earth’s climate?

Weather Blog

Dear Tom,
How might the weakening of the Atlantic Ocean’s system of currents affect the Earth’s climate?

—George Kalinka, Naperville
Dear George
The Atlantic Ocean circulation system is correctly termed the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC); the Gulf Stream is a portion of it. The AMOC has been weakening and is now its weakest in more than 1,000 years. The AMOC is responsible for the relatively mild weather experienced by Europe, which is farther north than most of the continental United States. Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research has co-authored a study saying further weakening of the AMOC could result in more storms blasting the United Kingdom, more intense winter storms and an increase in heatwaves and droughts in Europe..

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