Related topics: ocean · climate change

Chasing the black holes of the ocean

According to researchers from ETH Zurich and the University of Miami, some of the largest ocean eddies on Earth are mathematically equivalent to the mysterious black holes of space. These eddies are so tightly shielded by ...

Deep, old water explains why Antarctic Ocean hasn't warmed

The waters surrounding Antarctica may be one of the last places to experience human-driven climate change. New research from the University of Washington and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology finds that ocean currents ...

Aerial surveys document ocean debris around Hawaii

A study of the eight main Hawaiian Islands shows that ocean debris regularly accumulates around the archipelago, and that most of it is not linked to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, state officials said Tuesday.

Turning the tide to energy

NASA researchers who developed a new way to power robotic underwater vehicles believe a spin-off technology could help convert ocean energy into electrical energy on a much larger scale. The researchers hope that clean, renewable ...

How the ice ages ended

A study of sediment cores collected from the deep ocean supports a new explanation for how glacier melting at the end of the ice ages led to the release of carbon dioxide from the ocean.

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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