Scientists are warning of a potential collapse of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current (AMOC), which includes the Gulf Stream, within the next few decades if greenhouse gas emissions continue at their current rate. This event could have catastrophic effects on global weather patterns and impact every person on the planet. A recent study published in the journal Nature reveals that the tipping point for the AMOC could occur as early as 2025, with a more likely timeframe between 2039 and 2070. This complex system of ocean currents acts as a global conveyor belt, regulating climate and weather patterns. Its collapse would lead to extreme winters, sea-level rises, and a shift in monsoons.

The AMOC’s instability has been a concern for years, especially as climate change accelerates. As oceans warm and ice melts, freshwater enters the ocean, reducing its density and disrupting the current flow. The study’s analysis of sea surface temperatures in the North Atlantic, spanning from 1870 to 2020, showed “early warning signals” of critical changes in the AMOC. While previous reports suggested the AMOC might weaken over the century, this new study indicates a much more alarming timeline for potential collapse. It calls for immediate action to reduce planet-heating pollution and slow down the melting of ice in the Arctic. Failure to do so would have severe consequences for global weather patterns, emphasizing the urgency of addressing climate change.