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The ‘Gulf Stream’ will not collapse in 2025: What the alarmist headlines got wrong

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Gulf Stream map [image credit: RedAndr @ Wikipedia]

This article at The Conversation, by a former IPCC author warning against the excesses of media climate catastrophism, appeared on the 4th August but was somewhat undermined by another one it published the next day: The Atlantic is at risk of circulation collapse. It would mean even greater climate chaos across Europe.
– – –
Those following the latest developments in climate science would have been stunned by the jaw-dropping headlines last week proclaiming the “Gulf Stream could collapse as early as 2025, study suggests” — which responded to a recent publication in Nature Communications, says The Conversation (via

“Be very worried: Gulf Stream collapse could spark global chaos by 2025” announced the New York Post. “A crucial system of ocean currents is heading for a collapse that ‘would affect every person on the planet” noted CNN in the U.S. and repeated CTV News here in Canada.

One can only imagine how those already stricken with climate anxiety internalized this seemingly apocalyptic news as temperature records were being shattered across the globe.

This latest alarmist rhetoric provides a textbook example of how not to communicate climate science. These headlines do nothing to raise public awareness, let alone influence public policy to support climate solutions.
. . .
The currents are not collapsing (anytime soon)

While it was relatively easy to show that it is not possible for global warming to cause an ice age, this still hasn’t stopped some from promoting this false narrative.

The latest series of alarmist headlines may not have fixated on an impending ice age, but they still suggest the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation could collapse by 2025.

This is an outrageous claim at best and a completely irresponsible pronouncement at worst.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has been assessing the likelihood of a cessation of deep-water formation in the North Atlantic for decades. In fact, I was on the writing team of the 2007 4th Assessment Report where we concluded that:

“It is very likely that the Atlantic Ocean Meridional Overturning Circulation (MOC) will slow down during the course of the 21st century. It is very unlikely that the MOC will undergo a large abrupt transition during the course of the 21st century.”

Almost identical statements were included in the 5th Assessment Report in 2013 and the 6th Assessment Report in 2021. Other assessments, including the National Academy of Sciences Abrupt Impacts of Climate Change: Anticipating Surprises, published in 2013, also reached similar conclusions.

The 6th assessment report went further to conclude that:

“There is no observational evidence of a trend in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), based on the decade-long record of the complete AMOC and longer records of individual AMOC components.”

Full article here.


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