As the planet warms, scientists expect that mountain snowpack should melt progressively earlier in the year. However, observations in the U.S. show that as temperatures have risen, snowpack melt is relatively unaffected in some regions while others can experience snowpack melt a month earlier in the year.
An influential current system in the Atlantic Ocean, which plays a vital role in redistributing heat throughout our planet’s climate system, is now moving more slowly than it has in at least 1,600 years. That’s the conclusion of a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience from some of the world’s leading experts in this field.
The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)’s Initial NDC Synthesis Report measures the progress of national climate action plans, known as Nationally Determined Contributions or NDCs, ahead of the 26th session of Conference of its Parties (COP26) this November in Glasgow.
It found that even with increased efforts by some countries, the combined impact falls far short of what is needed.
The ocean circulation that keeps our relatively northern corner of Europe warm(ish) is often likened to a gigantic conveyor belt bringing warm equatorial water northwards at the surface, balanced by cold southward flow at great depth. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC for short, brings heat energy northward at the equivalent rate of 10 Hiroshima bombs every second and keeps our weather mild, and just a little bit too damp, and is critical to the wider climate.
The climate emergency is already hitting “worst case scenario” levels that if left unchecked will lead to the collapse of ecosystems, with dire consequences for humanity, according to the chief executive of the Environment Agency.