Frequent and extreme weather phenomena have been at the forefront of the climate crisis, with warming terrestrial and aquatic surface temperatures, excessive rainfall and dense snowfall, harsher winters, rapid melting of ice caps, and abnormal wind currents. All of these events have been the result of global warming and the strenuous climate crisis. Unfortunately there is another situation that could be catastrophic for our planet, the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) could collapse within the upcoming years. The AMOC is a large system of ocean currents that carry warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic, but due to human-caused climate change consequences, this system is on the brink of devastation. According to the conducted study, this collapse could trigger a domino effect of other natural phenomena—rapid weather and climate changes across the globe. Hypothetically, an ice age would occur in European waters, a dangerous rise in sea-levels near Boston and New York, and a potential for hurricanes and other abnormal storms would occur. It could also lead to a drastic drop in rain and snowfall across the U.S.

The study’s co-authors, Peter and Susanne Ditlevsen have explained why the collapsed is set to occur—

“Greenhouse gas emissions cause global warming, which speeds up the melting of Greenland ice. The melted freshwater entering the North Atlantic can then disrupt the AMOC, potentially causing major climate disruptions. When the increased meltwater from Greenland enters the North Atlantic, it's freshwater, which is lighter than the salty seawater around it," the Ditlevsens said. "This excess freshwater can disrupt the normal sinking of the salty water, weakening or even shutting down the AMOC. If the AMOC collapses, it can have far-reaching effects on weather patterns and ocean currents, leading to significant climate changes.”

From observing our current to future emission scenario, the study concludes that there will be a collapse in the AMOC by mid-century. This is a very dangerous and scary theory, one that has to be addressed immediately. This is one of the climate tipping points scientists believe are possible due to climate change. The AMOC is one of the planet's key circulatory systems, crucial in creating weather changes and patterns. The currents act as a conveyor belt for both ocean water and air, keeping the temperature and weather across parts of North America and Europe stable. The faster the current moves, the more water flows from warmer surfaces to cool depths—warm, salt water moves north from the tropics passing by the U.S. East Coast to the Atlantic where it dives into cooler depths and heads back south. Using new statistical tools and ocean temperature data, the study’s researchers have calculated that the system will shut down between 2025 and 2095, with 95% certainty. The new and alarming observation underscores the importance of addressing the consequences and instabilities of climate change when they first appear.