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Rising temperatures in Indian Ocean can boost Atlantic’s ocean currents: Study

Rising temperatures in Indian Ocean can boost Atlantic’s ocean currents: Study

While greenhouse warming caused by human activity is heating up the Indian oceans, it is likely to boost a key system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean, that plays a key role in determining the weather across the world, according to a new study.

Highlights

  • For thousands of years, AMOC has remained stable, but since the past 15 years, it has been weakening — a development that could have dramatic consequences for Europe and other parts of the Atlantic rim, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.
  • Researchers from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California-San Diego and Yale University found that rising temperatures in the Indian Ocean can help boost the AMOC and delay slow down.
  • Warming in the Indian Ocean generates additional precipitation, which, in turn, draws more air from other parts of the world, including the Atlantic.
  • The higher level of precipitation in the Indian Ocean will reduce precipitation in the Atlantic and increase salinity in the waters, the researchers explained.

AMOC

  • Atlantic meridional overturning circulation (AMOC) — which is sometimes referred to as the “Atlantic conveyor belt” — is one of the Earth’s largest water circulation systems where ocean currents move warm, salty water from the tropics to regions further north, such as western Europe and sends colder water south.
  • It aids in distributing heat and energy around the earth, as the warm water it carries releases heat into the atmosphere, and in absorbing and storing atmospheric carbon.

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