Is anyone working on models of the climate system that include the possible effects of the North Atlantic changing? What might happen to the North Atlantic overturning circulation in a global warming scenario?
NASA: Yes. Many groups (including NASA, but also NCAR, GFDL, the Hadley Centre in the UK, DKRZ in Germany, LMD in France and the Japanese), are working with models of the climate that include the oceans, ice and atmosphere. These models are the 'best guess' of how scientists think the different climate processes interact. In some future scenarios some of these models project a slowing down of the North Atlantic overturning, though some do not. Scientists are extremely interested in whether these processes are modeled correctly and what the uncertainties are.