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‘Slow’ Atlantic Ocean may cause climate chaos–Or There Again Maybe Not!

February 27, 2021

By Paul Homewood



The Atlantic current system which maintains mild weather in Europe is at its weakest in over a millennium, most likely because of climate change, scientists have found.

The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of a system of ocean currents which acts as a conveyor belt to move water around the Earth, redistributing heat and acting as a key link in maintaining the world’s climate. 

It began a serious slowdown around 1850 and is now at its lowest point in 1,000 years, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

It is not certain what the impact of further weakening will be on weather patterns, but scientists believe it could bring more heatwaves in Europe, and sea level rise on the east coast of the US.

The impact of changing water temperatures is also potentially devastating for some marine life, with the slowdown already linked to lower cod numbers off Maine. 

Some evidence suggests there could be a ‘tipping point’ sometime after 2100 when the system collapses, which could cause intense winter storms in Europe and a significant cooling effect across the northern hemisphere that would not be offset by global

Co-author Dr David Thornalley, from University College London said: “This study shows the increasing evidence in support of the modern Atlantic Ocean undergoing unprecedented changes in comparison to the last millennium, and in some cases longer.”

Scientists from Ireland, Britain and Germany looked at 11 different sources of data, including tree rings, ocean sediment and corals.

The AMOC has only been directly measured since 2004, leaving scientists to rely on indirect measurements such as these to monitor historic change, which produce imprecise results.

Dr Laura Jackson, a Met Office scientist specialising in AMOC who was not involved in the study, said there were “still uncertainties associated with using these indirect observations.”

But the paper adds to previous research that found a weakening of the AMOC, with one study suggesting there has been a 15 per cent decrease since the mid-century.


In other words they only have data since 2004, and are relying highly unreliable proxies further back Translation – Junk Science!


Meanwhile, another finds exactly the opposite:




  1. February 27, 2021 11:04 am

    The comments on the Telegraph article tear it apart A sceptical Telegraph article today

  2. February 27, 2021 11:47 am

    The Gulf Stream stopping is a great scare story for the children, except for one thing, the stream is not particularly important, except for the very far North. See for example this article by a member of the alarmist inner sanctum:

    It is simply the EXISTENCE of the Atlantic Ocean that really matters, plus the fact that the winds come mainly from the West. The Ocean gets warm in the summer due to the … SUN, and that heat warms and moistens the winter westerly winds.

    • Nancy & John Hultquist permalink
      February 27, 2021 5:05 pm

      Richard Seager’s ideas, papers, and presentations have been on-going for almost 20 years.
      I have pointed to this several times, but like “CO2 is bad” or “the Orange Man is bad” the Gulf Stream axiom is so strong, pointing this out is like peeing in the Pacific Ocean.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 27, 2021 10:09 pm

      I remember a few years ago various scientists saying this was all nonsense – as long as the Earth kept rotating in that direction the Gulf Stream would be fine.

      These scares come along, get disproven, hibernate for a few years then reappear.

  3. Gamecock permalink
    February 27, 2021 12:07 pm

    There will be ‘climate chaos.’ They don’t need a reason.

    ‘The Atlantic current system which maintains mild weather in Europe is at its weakest in over a millennium, most likely because of climate change, scientists have found.’

    In other words, “We don’t really know what caused it.”

  4. Tim Leeney permalink
    February 27, 2021 12:47 pm

    Looking forward to climate emergency chaos after failure of COP 26

  5. Broadlands permalink
    February 27, 2021 12:54 pm

    Potentially devastating and unprecedented changes. Another tipping point. But there is still time for some bold and drastic “unprecedented” action if we are to save the planet for children like Greta.

  6. Mewswithaview permalink
    February 27, 2021 1:24 pm

    The public relations firms must be active on the wires because a similar story appeared on RTE (Irelands financially struggling attempt at the BBC with the same agenda). They put the story on twitter.


    Scene: Tranquil countryside with sun shining after rain shower, spliced with sheep grazing peacefully in the distance.

    [RTE – Colman O’Sullivan] Though we may grumble about the weather Ireland has for now a very benign climate. Much of that is due to the gulf stream, but scientists have established that it is weakening and that has accelerated in recent decades.

    Cue: Researcher from ICARUS Climate Research Center, Maynooth University.

    [Dr. Levke Caesar] We compared actually a lot of different data that are all related to the gulf stream system, and found that together these data provide a consistent picture of the gulf stream showing that over the last part of the, ah, last couple of decades it’s been weaker than ever before in the last 1,600 years.

    Scene: Overcast, gale force winds with water crashing over sea walls at high tide.

    [CO’S] Our climate is already changing, stronger winter storms may be one of the future consequences of a weakened gulf stream.

    Scene: Man filling bucket of water from tank that says boil before use.

    [CO’S] So too might droughts as precipitation patterns change

    Scene: Fire in the distance in a forested area in Ireland, spliced with aeroplane in country dropping water from above, further spliced with a forest burning in another country.

    [CO’S] They say is is hard to predict exactly what weather it will bring, but are certain that the more we heat the planet the further the gulf stream will weaken.

    Wrapup scene: Back to researcher who graduated from Potsdam Institute (PIK) in Germany.

    <b<[LC] So we know that we cause global warming and global warming has all these factors that come into plan that decrease the gulf stream system because of this freshening of the sub-polar North Atlantic where the main driver of the gulf stream system, the deep water formation takes place.

    Scene: Closing statement from churnalist.

    [CO’S] The scientists warn that if we do limit carbon emissions to limit global heating we may reach a point where we can no longer influence the weakening of the gulf stream, and that could have catastrophic consequences for us here in Ireland. Colman O’Sullivan, RTE News.

    O’Sullivan uses global heating which is Guardian newspaper sensationalism we see this re-branding every few years, as the propaganda washes off the public s back and has to become ever more shrill. to command attention.

    Googling 1,600 years gulf stream turns up a 2018 Guardian article which leads to this paper in Nature ”Observed fingerprint of a weakening Atlantic Ocean overturning circulation” authored by L. Caesar, S. Rahmstorf, A. Robinson, G. Feulner & V. Saba.

    RTE has an openly stated agenda when it comes to covering Climate otherwise they might have discovered there is no real evidence for a diminishing trend of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation instead of presenting more climate fake news.

  7. It doesn't add up... permalink
    February 27, 2021 1:44 pm

    Isn’t this another case of he who controls the past controls the future?

  8. Davylars permalink
    February 27, 2021 1:51 pm

    So. As I see it.
    It may cause cooling.
    It may cause warming
    It may stay the same.
    As they see it.. Anthropogenic Global Warming.
    Science is settled….

  9. February 27, 2021 5:12 pm

    The term ‘Gulf Stream’ is often used loosely to include the North Atlantic Current. Strictly, the Gulf Stream only runs from Florida to the Grand Banks off Newfoundland. Both the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Current are part of the wind driven North Atlantic Gyre. Note “wind driven”.
    The idea of a “conveyor belt” is highly misleading and seems to be based on a gross oversimplification put forward by a half-baked oceanographer called Wally Broeker. (Who has since renounced the idea, and then not renounced it, and then not renounced it again – he’s all over the place.) Broeker put forward the idea that his conveyor belt could affect the world’s climate – and thus became the darling of the climate change establishment.
    While there certainly is a phenomenon of thermohaline sinking – which occurs when the dense brine left over when arctic sea-ice freezes, sinks. This can only happen for 6 months of the year at most. (And nobody seems to talk about what happens in the other 6 months when the sea-ice melts.)
    And there is a global body of cold water called the “Deep Water”. And the Deep Water has its own circulation patterns – one (but only one) of whose drivers is thermohaline sinking. (One of the other drivers is the wind-driven Antarctic Circumpolar Current – which Broeker himself called “The Great Mixmaster”. (He does seem to have liked naming theings after items industrial equipment.) As well as drifting around in rather aimless circles, and upwelling here and there, the Atlantic Deep Water also has a tendency to drift southwards to join the Great Mixmaster.
    So we have these two systems, the surface water being forced along powerfully by the wind; and the deep water mainly just drifting around. They do occasionally join-up in places, i.e. in areas of thermohaline sinking, areas of upwelling, and in the Great Mixmaster of the Southern Ocean. But there is no resemblance to a conveyor belt – the analogy is completely wrong.

    • February 28, 2021 1:23 pm

      Whenever I read this sort of rot about the AMOC, I find it has originated from the Potsdam Institute of Climate Change. They seem to have a bee in their bonnet about it. And that is about as polite as I can be on this subject.

    • March 1, 2021 11:34 pm

      The “Paper” has just come out today.
      Firstly, it is not a paper but a “Brief Communication” – whatever that is.
      Secondly, one of the authors is Rahmsdorf – so no surprises there.
      He’s like a one-hit-wonder releasing cover versions of his original single.

      • March 2, 2021 12:15 am

        In the paper, under “Author Contributions” we find “SR initiated the study” – what a surprise!

  10. Gamecock permalink
    February 27, 2021 6:38 pm

    ‘Scientists say . . . .’

    Sounds like something Jeremy Clarkson would say.

  11. Jack Broughton permalink
    February 27, 2021 7:28 pm

    My local authority (WMCA) has produced a paper for ratification next week that aims to accelerate the Midlands “zero-carbon” initiative to 2040. Their 5-year plan proposes spend of £4.7b over the next 5-years to achieve this, no mention of where this will come from of course. The proposal was based on a Tyndall Centre report, so guaranteed balance and sense! I have written to the the West Midlands council protesting about this idiocy, but will no doubt get the usual “experts and scientists say” type reply as they bin my missive.

    The Eco-loonies have taken over all the establishment controls: reminiscent of the Nazi party in the 1930s. There seems to be no practical way of opposing their power. There does not seem to be a MP or journalist who will take on the madmen.

    • February 27, 2021 8:26 pm

      Rest assured the planet pays no heed to anyone.

      humans have always thought their actions affect the planet, that is why I don’t believe a single word.

      • NeilC permalink
        February 27, 2021 9:07 pm

        These people have absolutely no idea of the power of nature.

    • Phoenix44 permalink
      February 27, 2021 10:16 pm

      Keep fighting! It’s not science, it’s politics. Don’t dispute the science but keep making the point that what, if anything, we do about forecasts made by scientists, is always a political decision. This “following the science” is gobbledygook, a cover for anti-democratic decisions that often involve reducing our freedoms. Science is literally incapable of telling what we should do in any complex situation where multiple costs and benefits must be considered.

  12. Phoenix44 permalink
    February 27, 2021 10:12 pm

    “still uncertainties associated with using these indirect observations.”

    In other words even the Met Office doesn’t buy it. Since we can never know what happened in the past, it’s pure speculation and completely unfalsifiable. Their only forecast seems to 2100 so absurdly far out and thus essentially unfalsifiable. Pointless junk scaremongering.

  13. El Toro permalink
    February 28, 2021 9:38 am

    Off topic? Rishi needs more taxes. Most businesses are knackered. How about more carbon taxes? That should go down well with COP26 approaching and Princess Nut Nuts! I’m just joking, of course…

  14. February 28, 2021 11:54 am

    I watch with neurotic intensity the progress of Arctic ice on the nsidc website (‘charctic’). Suddenly the ice is melting rapidly, a vertical fall in the little blue graph!! My £100 bet with Griff doesn’t look good unless there’s a glitch.

  15. February 28, 2021 9:27 pm

    The main Gulfstream that is moving round these days
    … is the $5million Gulfstream G-IV Private Jet
    that John Kerry, Biden’s Climate Czar uses to fly to Global Warming PR stunts.

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