As Hurricanes Idalia and Lee hit Florida and ocean temperatures reach record highs across the world, there’s much reason to be concerned about the state of our oceans. Unfortunately, some in the media took this sentiment way too far. A few weeks ago, several news outlets published stories with headlines saying the Gulf Stream could collapse as soon as 2025, sparking global climate chaos. The study they reference found that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) — not the Gulf Stream — could collapse sometime in the next century, with error bars spanning from 2025 to 2095. Moreover, this was one study, far from scientific consensus. An AMOC collapse would be very bad, but it is extremely unlikely to happen in two years. Ethan breaks down the current state of our oceans, the difference between the Gulf Stream and AMOC, and why this mixup damages the public’s understanding of climate change in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.”
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Writer: Ethan Brown, Velina Georgi, Mo Polyak, Emma Quarequio
Fact Checker: Aana Shenai
Editor: Megan Antone
Producers: Ethan Brown, Hallie Cordingley, Megan Antone
Ad Voiceover: Emma Quarequio
Music: Brett Sawka