Gulf Stream System at its weakest in over a millennium

Read the full story from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

In more than 1,000 years, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as Gulf Stream System, has not been as weak as in recent decades. This is the result of a new study by scientists from Ireland, Britain and Germany.

The researchers compiled so-called proxy data, taken mainly from natural archives like ocean sediments or ice cores, reaching back many hundreds of years to reconstruct the flow history of the AMOC. They found consistent evidence that its slowdown in the 20th century is unprecedented in the past millennium; it is likely linked to human-caused climate change. The giant ocean circulation system is relevant for weather patterns in Europe and regional sea levels in the U.S.; its slowdown is also associated with an observed cold blob in the northern Atlantic.

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