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Study finds early warning signals of global ocean conveyor belt collapse

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posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 11:37 AM
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The University of Exeter did a study on Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), sometimes referred to as the global ocean conveyor belt to determine what the driving factors for global climate collapse would be. Apparently, the AMOC is crucial to the Earth's climate and is a major factor in regulating the climate "machine" to ensure things stay on an even keel.



We could see early warning signs of the collapse of a key component of the global climate up to 250 years in advance, a new study has shown – ample time to either prevent or prepare for the consequences of abrupt climate change. The University of Exeter study analyzed the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), sometimes referred to as the global ocean conveyor belt, in a highly-complex and realistic simulation model, and identified the likely mechanisms that would drive such a collapse.

The AMOC is crucial to Earth's climate. It transports heat from the tropics to the cooler North Atlantic and then up into the atmosphere, driven by differences in density in ocean layers that are caused by salinity and temperature variations. Without it, the surface air temperature of the North Atlantic region would cool by around 1-3 degrees Celsius, with isolated pockets cooling by up to 8°C.


Researchers are trying to determine the threshold when the Climate would become out of control. On thing is that they note that this process is accelerated by freshwater melt form Glaciers; a trend which is happening now.



As freshwater glacial ice melts or surface temperature increases, the density of surface waters in the North Atlantic shrinks. This appears to be happening now, and it's triggering a positive feedback loop that accelerates the process, though there's little evidence as yet of any impending collapse.

In the long run, though, the system could cross a threshold known as "critical slowing down," which would make it unstable and likely lead to relatively sudden collapse – on the scale of months. The researchers sought to identify the early warning signals that precede this phenomenon.


So, not exactly Doom Porn but close enough, I suppose. The models show about an 800 year window before any kind of collapse so I think we still have time to turn this thing around. What says ATS?

www.gizmag.com...




posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 11:43 AM
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How do they even know what factors contribute to a collapse?

It sounds made up.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 11:53 AM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
How do they even know what factors contribute to a collapse?

It sounds made up.


The key as they've stated lies in the collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) which would be the result of too much Glacial melt. It's collapse would trigger cooling and sea level rises in the North Atlantic region and encourage drought in central Africa according to the article.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:07 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
How do they even know what factors contribute to a collapse?

It sounds made up.


We didnt. That was the point of the study - to find out! Now we (think we) know.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:28 PM
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this is really nothing new they have been saying this for at least 10 years, remember them saying that global warming was gonna cause a ice age.

here are two wiki's cause their fast.
Shutdown of thermohaline circulation

Effects on global climate



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:42 PM
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a reply to: lostbook

I think a good question to ask is what happened the last time the glaciers melted? This has all happened before.
I know it's not PC to bring it up, but it is a fact.
edit on 9-12-2014 by network dude because: bad spelr



The fact that sea levels are rising probably won't come as a huge surprise. But we now have some much-needed historical context for the melting icecaps and rising waters...and there's zero doubt that, in geological history, higher sea levels meant higher temperatures.

An international team led by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania created the first ever reconstruction of the last 2,000 years worth of changing sea levels. They were able to do this thanks to tiny fossils known as foraminifera, which can be found in sediment cores in North Carolina's coastal marshes.

To make sure these fossils could be used as an accurate barometer of sea level at different points in history, they compared the last 80 years worth of foraminifera data with contemporaneous North Carolina tidal gauge records. Once they had created the reconstructive technique, they then compared that with 300 years of global sea level records.

Here's what they found. The sea level changed very little between 200 and 1,000 C.E., then it began to climb by about half a millimeter per year for 400 years. This fits well with a known climate spike that began in the 11th century, which is known as the Medieval Climate Anomaly. Sea levels drop again in the mid-17th century, which is right on time for the advent of the Little Ice Age, which lasted from 1645 to 1715.

That drop continues until the beginning of the late 19th century, when the industrial revolution was in full swing. At that point, sea levels start climbing at an average rate of two millimeters per year, and the seas have been rising that much ever since. The research confirms what has often been assumed, that there's a very strong link between sea levels and temperatures. More worryingly, it also seems to confirm just how uniquely pronounced the current climate change really is.


link
edit on 9-12-2014 by network dude because: added information



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 12:47 PM
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a reply to: network dude





I think a good question to ask is what happened the last time the glaciers melted? This has all happened before. I know it's not PC to bring it up, but it is a fact.


a ice age, and yes you are correct, it has happened before.



Some even fear that global warming may be able to trigger the type of abrupt massive temperature shifts which occurred during the last glacial period: a series of Dansgaard-Oeschger events – rapid climate fluctuations – may be attributed to freshwater forcing at high latitude interrupting the THC. The Younger Dryas event may have been of this sort, too. (See the discussion of chaos theory for related ideas.) However, these events are believed[by whom?] to have been triggered by massive freshwater discharges from the Laurentide ice sheet, rather than from the melting of polar sea-ice and precipitation changes associated with the increased open water in global warming. Meltwater events aside, the climate deterioration into the last ice age appears to have taken about 5,000 years.[citation needed] Also, in coupled Atmosphere-Ocean General Circulation Models the THC tends to weaken somewhat rather than stop, and the warming effects outweigh the cooling, even locally: the IPCC Third Assessment Report notes that "even in models where the THC weakens, there is still a warming over Europe".[8] Model runs in which the THC is forced to shut down do show cooling – locally up to 8 °C (14 °F)[12]— although the largest anomalies occur over the North Atlantic, not over land. However, climate models are not sufficiently sophisticated at present to include climatic factors which give these predictions veracity; e.g., the recent return of deep convection to the subpolar gyre in both the Labrador and Irminger seas and the growing ice mass of Greenland. Studies of the Florida Current suggest that the Gulf Stream weakens with cooling, being weakest (by ~10%) during the Little Ice Age.[13]



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 01:06 PM
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Outstanding find! Thanks for the contribution.

What says ATS? I'm probably too old to be representative of the ATS community, but...both my son and I have had quite a bit of fun studying on the conveyor belt and ocean currents in general. The best information I've seen of late was on the History Channel where they were making guesses as to what wiped out the Mastadon's and the Clovis people and one theory that seems entirely too probable from the geologic record is a massive asteroid hit about 10,000 years ago. This would be a second hit; the first hit the Gulf of Mexico, (or the Yucatan, creating the GOM. That first one wiped out the Dinosaurs.

They said in the show that the geologic evidence indicates the massive spew of dust and debris disrupted the conveyor belt which caused a mini Ice Age.

I'm no expert, and I'm not pro/anti-global warming, and no one listens to me, but I'm here to tell you...the Oceans are the Earth's canary in the coal mine. They are the best predictor of coming climate changes and we ignore the health of the Oceans at extreme peril to human kind.

Thanks.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 01:29 PM
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The upwelling of cold ocean water from the depths brings nutrients to the life forms that cluster the shores of the world oceans.

Among those nutrients are nitrates and phosphates, heavy metals like lead and mercury, radio nuclides, and PCBs.

MMMMM…

Bon a petit!



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 01:52 PM
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Oh my ..The unknown knows are triggering the known unknowns causing the known future unknowns to tell us we need to act now . Well duh ! Of course this is all scientific and there fore a known known . cool :>)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 02:45 PM
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A fellow bio student from college called me five years ago and said to prepare for a new ice age.

Somehow his research showed that there wa massive glacier melting at the north pole prior to the last mini ice age.

The freshwater influx drove the gulf stream much further south before it turned right and headed towards England.

Without the warmer currents, the north polar ice caps grew very quickly. The added ice reflected more infrared waves back into space and in short order, a mini ice age occurred.

At the time, I thought he was nuts. With the last few brutal winters in the Mid-Atlantic region and this past very cool summer, I think he was right.

Funny thing is his fellow professors didn't want to review his reaserch. It sucks being a iconoclast scientist who follows data instead of dogma, I guess.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 03:14 PM
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Based on some of the above comments, I assume no-one has actually read the link in the OP?

I guess better to assume doom and gloom than deny ignorance?

All that is being said is that we now think we know the signs that may indicate abrupt climate change is imminent due to changes oceanic circulation, and therefore, if we started to detect those signs now, we would have at least 250 years warning before anything significant happened.

No-one is saying it is going to happen.

Any more than being able to detect when a volacano may erupt means it will erupt, or being able to predict that ATSers will make a post about aliens landing and the world ending in 2015 means aliens will land and the world will end in 2015 ....
edit on 9-12-2014 by AndyMayhew because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 03:16 PM
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When people are being swept into the sea because they live near the coast and thousands being displaced due to climate change their will still be ignorant fools still wanting to run their 4x4s proclaiming climate change is bunk.
Future generations if you read this iam sorry.
..I hope your generation are not as ignorant mine.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 03:31 PM
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a reply to: boymonkey74

This sounds like the same rhetoric you hear from religious nuts. Doom porn.



posted on Dec, 9 2014 @ 10:01 PM
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originally posted by: boymonkey74
When people are being swept into the sea because they live near the coast and thousands being displaced due to climate change their will still be ignorant fools still wanting to run their 4x4s proclaiming climate change is bunk.
Future generations if you read this iam sorry.
..I hope your generation are not as ignorant mine.


you know, because factories aren't one of the leading causes of pollution, just 4x4 vehicles that now burn more efficient than ever before.

Have fun driving in your prius polluting the air with your smug.



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 12:59 AM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Nope the difference is it is backed up by thousands of climate scientists backed by data.



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 10:59 AM
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Sounds like the script of the movie "The day after Tomorrow".

I have seen it many times so I am ready for it...




posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 11:02 AM
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they have a good handle on something they really have no clue about??? It's about the MONEY!!!!




posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 12:12 PM
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originally posted by: mcChoodles
A fellow bio student from college called me five years ago and said to prepare for a new ice age.

Somehow his research showed that there wa massive glacier melting at the north pole prior to the last mini ice age.

The freshwater influx drove the gulf stream much further south before it turned right and headed towards England.

Without the warmer currents, the north polar ice caps grew very quickly. The added ice reflected more infrared waves back into space and in short order, a mini ice age occurred.


This is called the Younger Dryas event. It wasn't a total Ice Age, and reversed eventually of course.

It is certainly true that changes in ocean circulation and heat have major influences on climate.

Relevant to this discussion:

www.nodc.noaa.gov...



At the time, I thought he was nuts. With the last few brutal winters in the Mid-Atlantic region and this past very cool summer, I think he was right.

Funny thing is his fellow professors didn't want to review his reaserch. It sucks being a iconoclast scientist who follows data instead of dogma, I guess.


No, that isn't it at all. The thing he was talking about has been extensively studied and is backed by data and analysis.
edit on 10-12-2014 by mbkennel because: (no reason given)



posted on Dec, 10 2014 @ 12:17 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
How do they even know what factors contribute to a collapse?

It sounds made up.


Everybody is free to examine the research and decide whether or not "it sounds made up", and write a reply to the editors of Nature.

www.nature.com...



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