I have been taught that the changes in current were caused primarily by climate change but upon reading the conclusion of the paper named: "Observed decline of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation 2004–2012" I am left baffled if climate change caused the change in the currents.

Citation for the paper : Smeed, D. A., McCarthy, G. D., Cunningham, S. A., Frajka-Williams, E., Rayner, D., Johns, W. E., Meinen, C. S., Baringer, M. O., Moat, B. I., Duchez, A., and Bryden, H. L.: Observed decline of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation 2004–2012, Ocean Sci., 10, 29–38, https://doi.org/10.5194/os-10-29-2014, 2014.

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome. Good question. There is to my limited knowledge no definite answer atm. But a lot of work has been published. It is driven by density differences from temperature and salinity, and a crucial driver is the NADW formation, which can switch states. These switches can be cause (e.g. possibly quaternary oscillations) or outcome (e.g. from freshwater inflow) of (regional/continental) climate change. $\endgroup$
    – user20217
    Jun 1 '20 at 8:21
  • $\begingroup$ As @a_donda mentioned, a lot of work has been published. One of the outcomes of climate change is Arctic ice decline, which adds fresh water to the ocean, reduces ocean water density and suppresses convection / NADW formation. See this paper for a more detailed description: doi.org/10.1175/JCLI-D-18-0231.1 $\endgroup$ Jun 16 '20 at 6:42

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