Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt and Abyssal Ocean Warming Slows Southern Overturning Circulation and AMOC

Paul Beckwith – Apr 1, 2023

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A landmark peer reviewed scientific paper on Antarctica was just released a few days ago.

This paper clearly shows that Antarctic Ice Sheet Melt is accelerating, the warming ocean abyssal water (below 4,000 meters depth) is accelerating, the Southern Overturning Circulation (SOC) off the coasts of Antarctica will reduced by 42% in the next 26-27 years (by 2050), also causing the northern hemisphere Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) to slow by 19%.

Normally, changes in the ocean current overturning like this take about 1000 years to occur, certainly not in 26.75 years. There are enormous consequences to humanity with this ocean current rewiring:

1) Much less heat will be carried from the surface to the abyss, so ocean warming near the surface and upper layers and atmospheric warming will greatly increase.

2) The oceans will become much more stratified.

3) Less oxygenated surface water will descend to the abyss, so the deep sea life that requires this oxygen will die off creating large benthic (bottom) dead zones.

4) Less carbon will be transported from the surface to the sea floor, so carbon levels in the upper ocean will increase (worsening ocean acidification) and the ocean carbon sink will greatly reduce. Thus, CO2 levels in the atmosphere will rise much faster than they would otherwise.

5) Fewer nutrients from the nutrient rich deep abyssal water will rise to the surface, so surface concentrations of phytoplankton will reduce, meaning less photosynthesis, thus less carbon capture and oxygen production.

6) As this overturning further weakens, we head towards more anoxic, stagnant, stratified oceans and risk hydrogen sulphide production and a global extinction event.

7) Changing ocean currents change the transfer of heat from the equator to the poles, change the atmospheric circulation patterns, and lead to a more chaotic weather system, with great increase in frequency, severity, duration, and extent of extreme weather events in our climate casino.

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