|According to forecasts by Dutch scientists, the North Atlantic drift could change its direction in the next hundred years, which would have catastrophic consequences for Europe where the climate is often mitigated by the warm waters brought to its coasts.|
This image shows the Atlantic Ocean Circulation, which transports relatively warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to north-western Europe.
Scientists at the University of Groningen and the University of Utrecht in the Netherlands predicted that the North Atlantic drift, which is an extension of the Gulf Stream, could change direction in the next 100 years, which which could have disastrous consequences for Europe, informs a press release published on EurekAlert !.
Increased precipitation and melting glaciers in Greenland due to global warming are increasing the amount of fresh water in the upper layers of the northern Atlantic Ocean.
The North Atlantic Current transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico towards Europe, providing much of north-western Europe with a relatively mild climate. However, scientists suspect that meltwater from Greenland and excessive rainfall could interfere with this ocean current.
Simulations by scientists from the University of Groningen and Utrecht University showed that it is unlikely that the current will come to a complete stop, due to small and rapid changes in precipitation over the North Atlantic. However, there is a 15 percent likelihood that there will be a temporary change in the current in the next 100 years. The results were published on 30 December in the journal Scientific Reports..
Sources: kentron.am, eurekalert.org