News & AnalysisClimate Change

Atlantic Current Can Shut Down for Centuries, Disrupting Climate

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Science  21 Feb 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6173, pp. 831
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6173.831

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The last time the planet had a breather between ice ages, the supposedly reliable flow of deep water southward down the Atlantic slowed or even stopped, only to recover centuries later. That's according to new isotopic analyses of tiny seafloor fossils. If the Atlantic were to respond in the same way to global warming, it could alter climate near and far and dramatically raise sea level along the North American coast.