No ‘Day After Tomorrow’… German Oceanographer Sees No Reliable Trend Suggesting Slowdown In Atlantic Gulf Stream

Scientists say there’s just too little data available to suggest the Gulf Stream is slowing down, and there won’t be in the next five years. 

Die kalte Sonne looked at the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, the system of surface and deep currents in the Atlantic Ocean that – among other things – transports warmer tropical water to the north Atlantic and to Europe, thus keeping the old continent a few degrees milder in the wintertime.

Some alarmist scientists, like at the Potsdam Institute, have been suggesting that climate change would cause this massive heat conveyor to stall and to cast the North Atlantic into a deep freeze, like in the film “The Day After Tomorrow”.

But Die kalte Sonne here reports that there’s no consensus or scientific data to support this media popular scenario.

“Low confidence”

For example, Chapter 9 of Working Group I of the 6th IPCC report there’s “low confidence” in AMOC changes over the 20th century and only medium confidence of an abrupt collapse over the 21st century (model-based).

Image: Die kalte Soone, Klimaschau

This means scientists have nowhere near enough information about how the AMOC has changed over the past century, or will change up to the year 2100. They have no clue.

Thus a climate-tipping AMOC stall remains adventurous speculation.

“Nobody knows”…”too little data”

German oceanographer Martin Visbeck also warned in a September 2, 2021, interview with Die Zeit that there’s too little data available to allow any reliable conclusions to be drawn.

When Visbeck was asked by Die Zeit what he thought about the 20 years of data gathered so far by a huge network of ocean buoys, he told Die Zeit:

Not much. One could possibly detect a slight downward trend using the mean of the data. But nobody knows whether this has to do with the usual data fluctuations, or if there’s a real long-term reduction in the current behind it. Personally I wouldn’t trust any trend that is based on so little data. It all could change in five years. And in my view, even then there will be no reliable evidence that would allow a statement on whether the AMOC has weakened or strengthened over the past 100 years.”

3 responses to “No ‘Day After Tomorrow’… German Oceanographer Sees No Reliable Trend Suggesting Slowdown In Atlantic Gulf Stream”

  1. Jeremy Poynton

    I was 70 this year.

    I can remember this panic from my teenage years.

    Some things never change.

    This is fun – Guardian, 2004

    “This article is more than 17 years old
    Now the Pentagon tells Bush: climate change will destroy us
    This article is more than 17 years old
    · Secret report warns of rioting and nuclear war
    · Britain will be ‘Siberian’ in less than 20 years
    · Threat to the world is greater than terrorism”

  2. Brian Valentine

    How could it possibly – the motion is governed by the Coriolis force of the rotating Earth

  3. Martin Visbeck

    For those who speak German, it might be better to read the whole article.

    And within that I did caution about extrapolating from a short data set to a long term trend(Simply good statistics and physics, nothing new or exciting). But I did also support the consensus view, that a slow down of the overturning circulation is very likely.

    The link is here, an I am sure a half way decent automatic translator will allow the non German speaking community to find out, that I am in agreement with the IPCC report but not with “No day after tomorrow”.

    I do not know ‘Die kalte Sonne’ and have no intent to read it.

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