Sydney: Melting ice around Antarctica will slow major ocean currents by 2050, a new study has found. This can have devastating effects on marine systems and seafood.
Ocean currents are continuous, predictable, curved movements of ocean water driven by gravity, air, and water density. Sea water moves in two directions, vertical and horizontal. Horizontal motions are called currents while vertical changes are called upwellings or downwellings.
A study conducted by Australian researchers said that this could change the world’s climate for centuries and cause a rapid rise in sea levels.
Scientists have warned that if greenhouse gas emissions continue at current rates, deep ocean currents could slow by 40 percent within 30 years.
This indirect effect will affect marine life, climate patterns and cause sea level rise.
According to the researchers, large reductions in greenhouse gas emissions are necessary in the current decade to avoid potentially serious consequences. If these reductions are not made, large-scale marine life could be lost and the oceans would have difficulty absorbing and retaining heat and the melting of ice would accelerate.
Professor Matt England, from the University of New South Wales-based climate change research and co-author of the study, said that the current situation is leading to the collapse of the deep ocean current.
The research was published in the journal Nature.