How stable is deep ocean circulation in warmer climate?

If circulation of deep waters in the Atlantic stops or slows due to climate change, it could cause cooling in northern North America and Europe—a scenario that has occurred during past cold glacial periods.

Switching on the Atlantic heat pump

34 million years ago, the warm greenhouse climate of the dinosaur age ended, and the colder icehouse climate of today commenced. Antarctica glaciated first, and geological data imply that the Atlantic meridional overturning ...

Ocean circulation likely to blame for severity of 2018 red tide

The harmful algae that causes red tide is currently at near undetectable levels in Florida waters compared with the much higher concentrations at this time last year. The red tide algae, Karenia brevis, causes respiratory ...

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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.

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