A huge Atlantic ocean flow is slowing down. If it collapses, La Niña could become the norm for Australia

Climate change is slows down the transport belt of sea currents that brings warm water from the tropics to the North Atlantic.

Our researchpublished today in Nature Climate Change, looks at the profound consequences for a global climate if this Atlantic transport collapses completely.

We found that the collapse of this system – called the South Atlantic reverse cycle – would change the Earth’s climate to a more La Niña-like state. This would mean more flood rains over eastern Australia and worse droughts and forest fire seasons over the southwestern United States.

East Coast Australians know how relentless La Niña feels. Climate change has charged our atmosphere with drier air, meanwhile two summers of the Girl warmed the ocean north of Australia. Both contributed to some of the wettest conditions ever experienced, with record floods in New South Wales and Queensland.

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