A study by British scientists has shown that much of the “excess heat” generated by human activity is being stored in the depths of the North Atlantic. As a result, it could affect the circulation of the Atlantic Amoc.
The oceans have absorbed about 90 percent of the heat generated by human activity, which is associated with an increase in the average global temperature. Research by British scientists from the University of Exeter in Great Britain showed that in the North Atlantic (in the latitude 25 ° N) up to 62 percent of the heat generated between 1850 and 2018 was kept in the depths of this reservoir. Experts believe that the depths will rise by another 0.2°C over the next 50 years. The research is published in Nature Journal Communications Earth & Environment.
“Deep ocean traps a lot of extra heat”
An increase in the average temperature of the seas and oceans can have a number of negative consequences, such as sea level rise, changes in ecosystems, currents, salinity, and oxygenation of the water.
Our planet is getting warmer. Dr Marie-José Messias from the University of Exeter said it is very important to understand how the ocean’s excess heat is distributed across it: from the surface to the bottom. “It’s also important to consider the ocean depths in all of this to assess the increase in ‘energy imbalances’ on Earth,” she added. – She explained that our research showed not only that the ocean depths retain a lot of excess heat, but also how ocean currents distribute heat in different regions. The researcher confirmed that this thermal split is a major factor in driving the rise in temperatures in the North Atlantic.
Atlantic Amoc Rotation
Scientists have studied the Atlantic Meridian Inversion Rotation (AMOC). It acts as a conveyor belt, carrying warm water from the tropics to the north, where it becomes cooler, and therefore denser, and sinks into the ocean depths. Then this water slowly spreads towards the south.
Dr Messias said that excess heat from the oceans of the Southern Hemisphere is becoming significant in the North Atlantic – now accounting for about a quarter of the excess heat.
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