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13 January 2016
Successive and abrupt changes in North Atlantic ocean circulation over the past 4,500 years seem to have caused major reductions in some cold-water coral ecosystems, finds a study published in Geophysical Research Letters, a journal of the American Geophysical Union.
The new study shows changes in sea surface circulation over the last few thousand years were more sudden than previously thought and in some cases led to abrupt collapses of cold-water coral ecosystems. The researchers found the first evidence that perturbations in the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) led to cold-water coral ecosystems decline from 100 to 1,200 years ago.