Related topics: ocean · climate change

Increasingly mobile sea ice risks polluting Arctic neighbors

The movement of sea ice between Arctic countries is expected to significantly increase this century, raising the risk of more widely transporting pollutants like microplastics and oil, according to new research from CU Boulder.

Atomic fingerprint identifies emission sources of uranium

Uranium is not always the same: depending on whether this chemical element is released by the civil nuclear industry or as fallout from nuclear weapon tests, the ratio of the two anthropogenic, i.e. man-made, uranium isotopes ...

New version of Earth model captures detailed climate dynamics

Earth supports a breathtaking range of geographies, ecosystems and environments, each of which harbors an equally impressive array of weather patterns and events. Climate is an aggregate of all these events averaged over ...

Antarctic ice walls protect the climate

The ocean can store much more heat than the atmosphere. The deep sea around Antarctica stores thermal energy that is the equivalent of heating the air above the continent by 400 degrees.

Understanding long-term trends in ocean layering

Water layering is intensifying significantly in about 40 percent of the world's oceans, which could have an impact on the marine food chain. The finding, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Oceans, could be ...

Quo vadis Antarctic bottom water?

Ocean currents are essential for the global distribution of heat and thus also for climate on earth. For example, oxygen is transferred into the deep sea through the formation of new deep water around Antarctica. Weddell ...

North Atlantic Current may cease temporarily in the next century

The North Atlantic Current transports warm water from the Gulf of Mexico towards Europe, providing much of north-western Europe with a relatively mild climate. However, scientists suspect that meltwater from Greenland and ...

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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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