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University of Barcelona (Spain)
According to two international-research studies on the last ice age, studies with the participation of Dr Rainer Zahn, research professor in the ICREA at the UAB Institute of Environmental Science and Technology (ICTA), before the great ice sheets of the Arctic Ocean began to melt, early sporadic episodes of melting of the old ice sheet which covered the British Isles had already begun to affect the circulation of the ocean currents, which played a key role in the climatic stability of the planet. Based on this observation, scientists consider that the acceleration of the melting of the Greenland ice cap could play an important role in the future stability of ocean circulation and, hence, in the development of climate change.
The magnitude of possible climate change in the future will depend to a large degree on the response of ocean circulation to global warming, as the ocean currents distribute an immense quantity of heat around our planet and, besides, determine levels of humidity and energy. Any variation in ocean circulation may lead to substantial and abrupt climate changes (that is to say over less than 30 years) on a global scale.
Source: Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
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