Why Atlantic Ocean Current System is slowing down? | Geography Optional | UPSC Civil Services Mains

Atlantic Meridonal Overturning Current | AMOC | Why is the AMOC slowing down? | What is causing this slowdown in the Atlantic Ocean current System | Thermohaline Circulation | Ocean Energy Systems

Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC)

  • A study published in Nature Climate Change notes that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) is LOSING ITS STABILITY.
  • Modelling studies have shown that an AMOC SHUTDOWN WOULD COOL the northern hemisphere and DECREASE RAINFALL over Europe.

What is AMOC?

  • The AMOC is a large system of OCEAN CURRENTS. It is the Atlantic branch of the ocean conveyor belt or THERMOHALINE CIRCULATION (THC) and DISTRIBUTES HEAT AND NUTRIENTS throughout the World’s Ocean Basins.


  • AMOC carries WARM SURFACE WATERS from the TROPICS towards the NORTHERN HEMISPHERE, where it COOLS AND SINKS. It then returns to the tropics and then to the South Atlantic as a BOTTOM CURRENT. From there it is distributed to all ocean basins via the ANTARCTIC CIRCUMPOLAR CURRENT.


  • GULF STREAM, a part of the AMOC, is a warm current responsible for mild climate at the Eastern coast of North America as well as Europe. Without a proper AMOC and Gulf Stream, EUROPE WILL BE VERY COLD.
  • Modelling studies have shown that an AMOC shutdown would COOL THE NORTHERN HEMISPHERE and DECREASE RAINFALL over Europe. It can also have an effect on the EL NINO.


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