Impending Ice Age Threatens Europe’s Future

Date Published: 11/06/2024

A recent study from the University of Copenhagen and the Niels Bohr Institute in Norway has raised concerns about the potential collapse of the North Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), which could trigger a new Ice Age in Europe within the next decade. The AMOC plays a crucial role in regulating global climate by transporting warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic, but rising global temperatures and melting glaciers are disrupting this process.

If the AMOC were to collapse, Europe could face a drastic drop in temperatures, leading to significant challenges in agriculture, water supply, infrastructure, and the economy. According to experts, there is a 35-45% chance of this event occurring in the 2030s, with temperatures in Europe plummeting by 3°C per decade. This could render countries like Spain “uninhabitable” as they struggle to cope with the sudden onset of winter conditions.

While some scientists remain skeptical about the likelihood of this scenario, historical precedents and early warning signals suggest that the AMOC is vulnerable to collapse. It is crucial for global efforts to mitigate climate change and adapt to its consequences in order to secure a sustainable future for Europe and the rest of the world.

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Image: Copernicus Climate Change Service

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