When winds and currents align, ocean mixing goes deep

When warm, salty subtropical waters flow into the chilly North Atlantic, they cool, sink, and become the oxygen- and carbon-rich waters of the deep ocean. This convection is an important part of the global climate system, ...

Global energy spectrum of the general oceanic circulation

For the first time, University of Rochester researchers have quantified the energy of ocean currents larger than 1,000 kilometers. In the process, they and their collaborators have discovered that the most energetic is the ...

Rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine reverses 900 years of cooling

Rapid 20th century warming in the Gulf of Maine has reversed long-term cooling that occurred there during the previous 900 years, according to new research that combines an examination of shells from long-lived ocean quahogs ...

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Ocean current

An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of ocean water generated by the forces acting upon the water, such as the Earth's rotation, wind, temperature, salinity differences and tides caused by the gravitational pull of the Moon and the Sun. Depth contours, shoreline configurations and interaction with other currents influence a current's direction and strength.

Ocean currents can flow for thousands of kilometers, and together they create the great flow of the global conveyor belt which plays a dominant part in determining the climate of many of the Earth’s regions. Perhaps the most striking example is the Gulf Stream, which makes northwest Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude. Another example is the Hawaiian Islands, where the climate is cooler (sub-tropical) than the tropical latitudes in which they are located, because of the effect of the California Current.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA