A team of scientists from the University of Washington, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have found that the freshwater content of the Arctic Ocean has increased by 40% over the past 20 years.
According to them, the penetration of fresh water into the Atlantic Ocean could have a catastrophic effect on the global climate. A related study was published in the journal Nature Communications.
Scientists noted that the accumulation of fresh water in the Arctic Ocean is due to the melting of Arctic ice. Now it sits on top of salt water and is held by the winds in the Beaufort Sea, thus forming something like a dome.
If the winds diminish, fresh water will penetrate the North Atlantic, including the Labrador Sea, and this will have a catastrophic effect on the large ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean, as well as the circulation of cold and warm waters.
The researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing the ocean circulation modeling that helped them track the distribution of fresh water in the Beaufort Sea from 1983 to 1995. It was found that most of the fresh water reached Labrador through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago.
During this event, the salinity of Labrador decreased by 0.2-0.4 parts per thousand. At the moment, the volume of fresh water in the Beaufort Sea is twice as much as last time, and amounts to 23 thousand cubic kilometers.
According to scientists, the exact impact of such a freshwater “bomb” on the Atlantic cannot be predicted, but it is safe to say that it will have an impact on the climate of the entire Northern Hemisphere.
Scientists have previously stated that the melting of glaciers could be more dangerous than the coronavirus. According to them, if in the distant future humanity has a chance to write off the “covid” memories from the archive, then this will not work with glaciers. Melting permafrost in Siberia and the Himalayas is releasing the oldest bacteria and viruses.