Related topics: ocean · climate change

Studies add to concern about climate tipping

Two model studies document the probability of climate tipping in Earth subsystems. The findings support the urgency of restricting CO2 emissions as abrupt climate changes might be less predictable and more widespread in the ...

Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows more rapidly in warm phases

Earth's strongest ocean current, which circulates around Antarctica, plays a major role in determining the transport of heat, salt and nutrients in the ocean. An international research team led by the Alfred Wegener Institute ...

Plastic waste in the sea mainly drifts near the coast

The pollution of the world's oceans with plastic waste is one of the major environmental problems of our time. However, very little is known about how much plastic is distributed globally in the ocean. Models based on ocean ...

What are 'internal waves' that possibly sank the Indonesian sub?

Last week might have been the first time you ever heard of "internal waves"—the phenomenon suspected of causing the tragic sinking of the Indonesian submarine KRI Nanggala the previous week, resulting in the deaths of the ...

page 1 from 39

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