Impending Ice Age Threatens Europe, Scientists Warn

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, where it cools, sinks, and circulates back southward. However, rising global temperatures and melting glaciers are disrupting this process, leading to the possibility of a 35-45% chance of the AMOC collapsing in the 2030s.

If the AMOC were to collapse, Europe could experience a drastic drop in temperatures, with Spain and other regions becoming “uninhabitable.” This could have severe implications for agriculture, water supply, infrastructure, and the economy, requiring cities to adapt to extreme winter conditions.

While some scientists remain skeptical, historical precedents and early warning signals from the Niels Bohr Institute suggest that the AMOC could collapse between 2025 and 2095 if current emissions and global warming trends persist. Mitigating climate change and preparing for its consequences will be crucial for ensuring a sustainable future for Europe and the world.

Image: Copernicus Climate Change Service

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