By SETH BORENSTEIN
WASHINGTON (AP) — One of the key drivers of the world’s climate is an area in the North Atlantic Ocean where warmer and colder water mix and swirl. When scientists went for their first close look at this critical underwater dynamo, they found they were looking in the wrong place.
By hundreds of miles.
The consequences are not quite yet understood, but eventually it could change forecasts of one of the worst-case global warming scenarios — still considered unlikely this century — in which the mixing stops and climate chaos ensues.
It’s called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation , and scientists describe it as a giant ocean conveyor belt that moves water from Greenland south to beyond the tip of Africa and into the Indian Ocean.