Earth is on the brink of a catastrophe which could hit "as early as 2025", with new evidence supporting a climate collapse this decade.
Currents in the Atlantic Ocean could bring warmer temperatures to the tropics, in turn ramping up the sizzling heatwaves of Europe into something far worse.
Those soaring temperatures, which have already wreaked havoc in Greece over the last few weeks, could be set to heat up even further and far sooner than scientists had first thought.
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A new study conducted on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) and published in the journal Nature Communications has shown warmer currents are driving north with the water sinking it as it cools.
This could cause a repeating cycle which sees warmed water cooled, sink and then warm again with a denser, saltier feel.
The volume of water is increasing too, with the Greenland ice sheet melting into the Atlantic, causing disruption to the overall temperature of the ocean and changes to the AMOC cycle, Metro reports.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change had previously predicted the AMOC system would be disrupted in the next century, but a new study has said full or partial collapse of the system is "most likely" to happen much sooner.
Experts have warned it could even come as early as 2025 and boffins have warned of the devastating effects it would trigger across the globe just decades after the initial collapse.
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Scientists believe the UK would be heavily affected by the changes, with fresh water for drinking and agriculture in harsher demand.
University of Copenhagen professor Peter Ditlevsen, lead author of the new report, said he was "pretty alarmed" by the results.
Others claim however the test was not reliable as it relies on methods and modelling of indirect measures and changes over the previous 70 years.
But Professor Ditlevsen hit back, saying: "We’re pretty sure that the perturbation we are doing with the emissions of greenhouse gasses is the single most important cause."
Professor Penny Holliday, head of marine physics and ocean circulation at the National Oceanography Centre in Southampton, said the predictions were "high impact, low likelihood."
Speaking of the study, she said: "They describe the potential for Amoc collapse within a few years as 'worrisome' and the evidence as something that we should not ignore.
"It’s hard to disagree with that."
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