COPENHAGEN - A crucial system of ocean currents is heading for a catastrophic collapse that would “affect every person on the planet”, said scientists.

A study published in the journal Nature found that the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Current – could collapse around the middle of the century, or even as early as 2025.

The likeliest point of collapse is somewhere between 2039 and 2070, said Peter Ditlevsen, a professor of climate physics at the University of Copenhagen and one of the authors of the report.