An alarming new study shows what could lie ahead if climate change is not brought under control.
Researchers say the warming of the planet has the potential to collapse the world’s crucial system of ocean currents.
The currents act like a giant global conveyor belt.
They transport warm water from the tropics toward the North Atlantic, where the water cools, becomes saltier and sinks deep into the ocean, before spreading south.
The currents help regulate global weather patterns.
And researchers warn if this so-called conveyer belt breaks down, people would see more extreme winters and sea levels rising.
Scientists say it is not a matter of if the system will collapse but when.
Some predict it could happen as early as 2025, but others say the collapse is decades away unless carbon emissions are cut to zero, global temperatures are reduced, and melting in the arctic is slowed.
The study appears in the journal Nature.