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melting arctic sea ice could be disrupting the oceans’ circulation—with major consequences

by:Mingfa Tech     2019-12-24
We already know that the melting of sea ice in the Arctic is bad news.
The reduction in ice means less habitat for animals like polar bears, which also means less surface reflection in the north, which can reflect light back into space and allow the Earth to absorb more heat.
As global warming continues to warm the Earth, we will only lose more ice.
A study on natural climate change released on Monday drew attention to another ice.
Related questions-
Could lead to some big
Consequences of scale.
According to the study, retreating sea ice could disrupt a major pattern of ocean circulation and even affect the climate pattern in Europe.
It turns out that sea ice in the Greenland and Icelandic waters plays an important role in the work of a powerful ocean stream known as the Atlantic Meridian reversal circulation.
This current acts as a conveyor belt, delivering warm water from the equator to the poles, and then returning cold water to the tropical area where the cycle is restarted.
In turn, the Atlantic flip cycle is the Atlantic branch of a larger global flip cycle that delivers water to all parts of the world.
When warm water reaches the north, it participates in a process called ocean convection --
Heat transfer from water to air.
When the heat leaves the seawater and enters the atmosphere, the water begins to cool.
Cold water is more dense than warm water, so it sinks to the bottom of the ocean and joins the \"return\" section of the Atlantic flip cycle conveyor belt, which again transports cold water to the south.
The whole process of water delivering, cooling, sinking and returning south to the north is called capsizing.
In order to work, capsizing requires some special marine conditions that are most evident in areas of the ocean that are called \"gyres\" or circular ocean current rotation systems.
These rotational currents make the heat transfer easier and help the cold water sink deep enough to add to the deep, south-
The movement of the Atlantic flipped circulation.
The researchers of the study focused their attention on two special gyres, one in the Kelan sea and the other in the Icelandic sea.
Historically, the two spins helped support the main part of the Atlantic flip cycle by flipping a lot of water.
This is where the sea ice works.
When the temperature difference between the water and the surrounding air is large, the heat transfer is maximum
It is when the water is warm and the air is cold.
Surprisingly, the air near the ice is very cold.
\"Therefore, the ocean\'s heat loss is the largest near the ice rim,\" said Kent Moore, the lead author of the paper and professor of physics at the University of Toronto.
A few decades ago, Moore said, there was a lot of sea ice near these two gyres.
This allows maximum heat transfer in areas that have already flipped, making the process more efficient.
But over the past 30 to 40 years, as the region warms, the sea ice begins to melt and retreat north, meaning the distance between the sea ice and gyres is larger than before.
This is especially true in the summer, but Moore notes that winter sea ice in the region is also shrinking.
\"This means that the heat loss for these gyres is now reduced,\" Moore said . \".
In fact, by reviewing data from the European media center,
The researchers estimate that the heat flux in these areas has decreased by 20% since 1979.
Given that marine data are often scarce, says Stefan Rahmstorf, professor of marine physics at the University of Potsdam, Germany, the paper presents conclusive evidence. “I think [the authors]
Good work has been done based on the data on heat flow, first indicating that there is a trend in this heat flow, and secondly looking at the consequences of the ocean, especially convection, he said: \"It\'s an integral part of the deep water renewal and the massive capsizing. \".
In terms of the consequences outlined by rahmstorf, the researchers believe that this reduction in heat transfer may disrupt the flipping of the waters of Greenland and Iceland and cause trouble for the Atlantic flip cycle, previous research has shown that this trend is weakening.
The researchers used models to try to figure out what impact the current would have.
They found that the decrease in heat flow in the area may mean that in the end only shallow water areas will experience convection and reversal, and deeper waters will be excluded.
This may weaken the supply of dense cold water that the region usually enters the Atlantic flipping cycle --
This weakens the circulation of the whole.
Scientists have begun to worry about the Atlantic Ocean\'s flip cycle, which seems to have been slowing for decades.
\"There has been concern since the 1980 s that the ocean flip cycle will react to global warming in a weakened way, and I think now there is growing evidence that the process has indeed begun, saysRahmstorf from the University of Potsdam said.
Heat flux weakening in the Arctic may not even be the only reason.
A March 2015 study led by Rahmstorf concluded that since the 1970 s, the Atlantic turnover cycle has experienced an unprecedented weakening, in part due to the melting of ice and snow in Greenland injecting fresh water into the region, the authors argue.
The fresh water is less dense than the salt water, so it will not sink either.
This can weaken the capsizing process.
According to Rahmstorf, these two factors
The influx of fresh water and the weakening of heat transfer in the region
It may be to work with each other to slow down the Flip cycle of the Atlantic Ocean.
\"In our paper, we pointed out the melting water from Greenland and did not claim that it was the most important mechanism, but rather that it was another factor that has been overlooked so far, he said.
The weakening of the Atlantic flip cycle may have some unexpected consequences.
If the flow of water slows down and the warm water is transported to the north, then the heat in areas such as Western Europe will decrease.
According to Moore, Europe may actually experience a cooling effect in the future --
Although it is not clear how this cooling will be.
Climate change is expected to continue to heat up globally,
Global warming could offset the cooling effects associated with Europe.
Europe may continue to heat up, but it will be slower than the rest of the world.
But there are other consequences to consider.
As we have reported in the past, the waters east of the North --
Flowing Gulf Stream
The waters on this side of Europe are-
Tend to be warmer than the waters on the Western, North American side.
If water flows weaken, the waters on the west side may begin to warm and become less dense, causing them to swell and take up more space.
This process may lead to an increase in the ocean.
Rising along American levelsS. east coast.
However, Moore warns that we can only make so many inferences using historical data and models.
The next step will begin to monitor changes in the Atlantic flipped circulation (
And its consequences)
He and his colleagues hope to start real-time research in the coming years.
At the same time, both Moore and ramstov stressed the need to continue to cut global carbon emissions, which is the main reason for climate change.
Setting a cap on global warming would mean reducing sea ice losses on the road (
The glaciers on Earth have melted less)
This helps to reduce the disruption of major currents.
\"There is no solution --
\"You can\'t go out and spray ice or something in the North Atlantic,\" Moore said . \". “The only long-
The term solution is to basically limit our future carbon emissions so that we can mitigate the additional warming that will occur in the system.
\"Also in terms of energy and the environment: This week\'s amazing and important climate policy moment has burned millions of acres of land in the Alaska fire.
Scientists have just found the disturbing reason why you can register our weekly newsletter here and follow us on Twitter.
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