Melting icecaps are threatening one of the most important currents in the world, the Great Ocean Conveyor. If it stopped, it could have devastating impacts on our climate.
- The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt is a complex network of ocean currents that carries warmth around the globe.
- The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt relies on salt-water cooling, becoming dense and sinking before traveling around the globe and gaining in temperature.
- Melting glaciers at the pole are releasing huge amounts of fresh water, diluting the salt and affecting the density of the water.
- If the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt shut down it could result in droughts in some parts of the world and freezing conditions in others.
While it may sound counterintuitive, there are theories to suggest that while some areas will get warmer in the future, parts of the world will experience a 'big chill'.
This contradiction can be explained by the planet's huge oceans, which store 1000 times more heat than the atmosphere.
All this ...