Scientists: Ocean currents in Antarctica are heading towards collapse – DW – 30/03/2023

rapid dissolution of South Pole Ice threatens to slow down the deep currents in the world’s oceans, adversely affect the climateScientists said the prevalence of fresh water and oxygen as well as nutrients that sustain life for centuries.

according to new A study published in the journal Nature On Wednesday, deep water currents around Antarctica could slow by more than 40% in the next 30 years.

The “overturning circulation” of the deep ocean would slow by 40% by 2050 in a high emissions scenario, the study said, warning of repercussions that could last “for centuries to come”.

New modeling cited by the study points to rapid melting of ice in the Antarctic leading to a “significant slowdown” in water circulation in the deepest parts of the ocean if global carbon emissions remain high.

About to collapse

Matthew England, a climate professor at the University of New South Wales (UNSW), who coordinated the study, said that if the model was correct, the deep ocean current would be “on a crash course”.

Trillions of tons of cold, extremely salty, oxygen-rich water sinking around Antarctica Every year, it sends a deep-water current north into the Indian Ocean, Pacific Ocean, and Atlantic Ocean.

The large volume of ice melt causes Antarctic waters to become less dense and salty, which slows the circulation of the deep ocean.

With the collapse of this deep ocean current, oceans below 4,000 meters would stagnate.

“This would trap nutrients in the ocean depths, reducing nutrients available to support marine life near the ocean surface,” England said.

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The study also said that the melting of the Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets is expected to continue to accelerate as global temperatures rise.

“We’re talking about the potential long-term extinction of an iconic body of water,” England said.

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dvv/sms (AFP, dpa)

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