Do we have to worry about a shut down of the Gulf Stream? Or an update on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and the role of the oceans in climate change.

Two weeks ago, 4000 oceanographers met in Orlando Florida for the American Geophysical Union Ocean Sciences meeting. The halls of the School of Oceanography at UW were very quiet that week as many of us attended and presented at the meeting. There were many concurrent sessions that made it difficult to determine where to go at any given time, so I will focus on the exciting research that was presented at the meeting related to the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) in several different sessions, highlighting the work of UW Researchers. The bottom line is that transport associated with the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is more complex the closer we look, and the cartoon presented of the thermohaline circulation with the warm water returned in an effective pipe by the Gulf Stream to the subpolar North Atlantic and the Nordic Seas must be revised. In addition, the pathways of the deep water created in the Nordic Seas is only now being mapped out completely with new technologies, some of which are being developed at UW.

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