Circulation Shut Down: The Impact of Climate Change on the World's Oceans

January 22, 2023

New study warns of catastrophic effects on ocean circulation

In our latest episode, co-hosts Peter Ravella and Tyler Buckingham welcome Yi Liu and Dr. Keith Moore as our guests to discuss their recent paper, "Climate change could cause 'disaster' in the world's oceans: Deep overturning circulation collapses with strong warming." In the paper, Yi and Keith analyze projections from 36 climate models and find that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation and the Southern Meridional Overturning Circulation could slow by as much as 42% by 2100, and under worst-case warming, the SMOC could cease entirely by 2300. They explain that this could lead to a "climate disaster similar in magnitude to complete melting of the ice sheets on land." They also discuss the importance of overturning circulation in the ocean, and how it acts as a "solubility pump" and "biological pump" that helps remove CO2 from the atmosphere and supports marine ecosystems. They also stress the importance of reducing greenhouse gas emissions to prevent the complete shutdown of deep circulation in the future. Join us as we delve into the science behind this groundbreaking research and its potential implications for our planet.

Show Transcription
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Peter Ravella & Tyler Buckingham

Peter and Tyler joined forces in 2015 and from the first meeting began discussing a project that would become Coastal News Today and the American Shoreline Podcast Network. At the time, Peter and Tyler were coastal consultants for Pete’s firm, PAR Consulting, LLC. In that role, they worked with coastal communities in Texas, Florida, and North Carolina, engaged in grant writing, coastal project development, shoreline erosion and land use planning, permitting, and financial planning for communities undertaking big beach restoration projects. Between and among their consulting tasks, they kept talking and kept building the idea of CNT & ASPN. In almost every arena they worked, public engagement played a central role. They spent thousands of hours talking with coastal stakeholders, like business owners, hotel operators, condo managers, watermen, property owners, enviros, surfers, and fishermen. They dived deep into the value, meaning, and responsibility for the American shoreline, segment-by-segment. Common threads emerged, themes were revealed, differences uncovered. There was a big conversation going on along the American shoreline! But, no place to have it. That's where CNT and ASPN were born.