The extent of anthropogenic influence on the Earth’s climate warrants studies of the ocean as a major player. The ocean circulation is important for transporting properties like heat, carbon and nutrients. A supposed major conduit is the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). Schematically, it transports heat from the equator to the poles near the surface and carbon in the abyssal return. As the AMOC is a complex nonlinear dynamical system, it is challenging to predict its potential to collapse from a statistical viewpoint using a particular estimator of sea-surface temperature. Whilst this might be robust mathematically, it lacks physical insight of the drivers of the AMOC. As is argued here, physical processes will alter the estimators, and thereby statistical analyses.