The AMOC at the Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Santa Cruz de La Palma

The Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Santa Cruz de La Palma organised a lively colloquium at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo de La Palma, bringing together experts and the public to address one of the most pressing challenges of our time: climate change and its impact on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC).

The event was attended by three leading representatives from the field of oceanography. Aridane González González, from the Institute of Oceanography and Global Change (IOCAG) of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, opened the session by explaining the causes and consequences of the climate crisis, with special emphasis on how it affects the Canary Islands. María Dolores Pérez Hernández deepened the predictable effects of circulation patterns in this century, capturing the audience’s attention with scientific rigour and practical relevance for island life. Closing the presentations, José Joaquín Hernández Brito, director of the Oceanic Platform of the Canary Islands, spoke about current innovations to reduce emissions and extract renewable energies from the marine environment, highlighting the potential of the Canary Islands as a natural laboratory for these solutions.

The experts warned of the potentially serious impacts of the weakening of the AMOC, both for the Canary Islands and globally. Worrying scenarios were discussed, such as the possibility of the archipelago experiencing severe changes in its climate, including hotter summers and drier winters, affecting tourism, agriculture and water resources. On a global scale, risks such as sea level rise and the foreseeable impacts for Europe, alterations in rainfall patterns that could lead to more frequent floods and droughts in vulnerable regions, and the impact on marine ecosystems, with the potential for expansion of “dead zones” and unprecedented damage to biodiversity and the blue economy, vital for ecosystem services and coastal economies, were addressed.

The audience participated actively in the following debate, posing questions that reflected a genuine concern for the future of the island, the Canaries and the planet. The need to reduce emissions and adapt our societies towards sustainability was a recurring message throughout the day, with an emphasis on the shared responsibility of institutions, companies and citizens. The success of the colloquium was reflected in the high level of participation, the dynamism of the discussions and the commitment of the attendees to take what they learned back to their communities and apply it in concrete actions. This event has demonstrated that outreach, education and public participation are key to fostering an open and effective dialogue on climate change, and to mobilising Canarian society in the search for solutions.

The Real Sociedad Económica de Amigos del País de Santa Cruz de La Palma will continue to organise similar initiatives, with the aim of raising awareness in society and promoting action in the face of the climate crisis. The La Palma colloquium has set an inspiring precedent, reminding us that tackling climate change requires the involvement of everyone, from the scientific community to every citizen committed to a sustainable future for the Canary Islands and the world.

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