The radiator of Europe he may fall down? Thermohaline circulation, through which warm water from the south back the Atlantic Ocean to the north, bringing mild weather in Europe show signs of weakness, according to a new study published today in the journal Nature. These ocean currents are closely monitored and several studies have attempted to measure their progress. The study of climate over thousands of years found that stopping or acceleration of that ocean circulation was involved in major climate changes.
Harry Bryden of the National Oceanography Centre Southampton (UK), and colleagues sailed between the Bahamas and Canary spring 2004 study to measure the currents that form the 'meridional overturning circulation' of the Atlantic Ocean. Comparable measurements in 1957, 1981, 1992 or 1998 had revealed little change, says Bryden. In contrast, the campaign of 2004 shows that all of the thermohaline circulation has slowed 30%. If the Gulf Stream, on the surface, little change, the deeper currents would have declined 50%.
The researchers temper their results by emphasizing that it is difficult to know whether this is a short- or long-term trend. Sensors were installed in 25 different points of the subtropical Atlantic to monitor deep currents, specify the journal Nature. Monitoring should provide new results in the coming years.