Gulf Stream at its weakest causes alarm

By Samira Scoton and Daniel Vidal Pérez |

The Gulf Stream (Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation – AMOC) reached its weakest  level in a thousand years. This is a wake-up call, because the gulf stream is responsible, among others, for the climate regulation of the planet. Characteristically hot and rapid, it originates in the region of Florida (USA) and goes all the way to Europe, transporting hot water to the north and bringing cold water and low salinity to the south. The slowdown of AMOC, according to recent studies, is the result of the addition of fresh water to the stream, due to the melting of polar ice and increased rainfall.This addition of fresh water interferes with the density of ocean water, weaking the flow of the stream.

Impacts on Defense and Security: The oceans are responsible for regulating the Earth’s climate through the interaction between marine currents and the atmosphere. Deceleration of AMOC may cause more intense weather events, as changes in rainfall and storm routes. Such factors can interfere both in the infrastructure and the food production from in regions affected by the stream.

Source: DUNNE. Daisy. Atlantic Ocean current at weakest state in ‘over a millennium’. The Independent. 2/26/2021. Available at: https://www.independent.co.uk/climate-change/news/atlantic-ocean-current-weakening-amoc-b1807337.html

 

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