Vinícius Ribau Mendes


Climate change research also involves developing new ways to interpret the signals that these changes leave in the natural world. Geologist Vinícius Ribau Mendes is a creative researcher who uses sediments stored at the bottom of the ocean to understand how global warming has affected ocean currents and rainfall in South America. Outside the lab, he is also a creative builder, making everything from musical instruments to pizza ovens. Although he has considered himself a geologist since childhood, he formally graduated with a B.A. in geology and later an M.A. and Ph.D. in geosciences from the University of São Paulo. His project focuses on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), a powerful ocean current that plays a major role in rainfall patterns in Latin America. Outside the lab and classroom, his love for the water remains strong, especially as the father of Cauê and Artur. Whenever he has free time he heads to the shore to dive, paddle or surf.


The Influence of AMOC Collapse on South American Precipitation
Science / Geosciences

Recent studies show a marked reduction in the intensity of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), one of the most powerful ocean currents in the world, which may collapse later this century. The AMOC is responsible for distributing heat between the hemispheres and influences South America’s Monsoon System, which brings summer rains to the continent.

What will happen to rainfall patterns over South America if the AMOC collapses? We turn to precipitation in South America in the last two AMOC collapse events, more specifically, the sediments accumulated on the ocean floor to answer this question. Changes in rainfall patterns can have significant socio-environmental impacts and the information gathered in this project will help improve climate models, enabling planning and adaptation for the changes to come.

Amount invested

2021 Grant: R$ 699,376.00

Open Calls

Science Call 4
  • Topics
  • mudanças climáticas
  • ocean currents