Collapse of the Atlantic Ocean Circulation

The Atlantic Ocean Circulation is sensitive to the patterns of atmospheric forcing. Relatively small changes in atmospheric conditions may lead to a spectacular collapse of Atlantic Ocean currents, with a large impact on European climate. In ocean-climate models, a collapse is associated with the existence of saddle-node bifurcations. The challenge is to efficiently determine the position of these bifurcations in the multi-parameter, large-dimensional dynamical systems derived from these models.

In this presentation, I will give a brief overview of numerical techniques currently used and then focus on the issue of determining the probability that a collapse will occur before the year 2100.

Henk Dijkstra, Utrecht University, The Netherlands

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