Friday, May 13th, 2011
Circulating Ocean Currents And Climate Change

undefined

The study of ocean currents is strikingly similar to meteorology, demonstrating the interconnectedness of oceanic and atmospheric circulation. Like air masses in the atmosphere, the movement of water masses shifts the heat balance for the Earth. Also like air movement in the atmosphere, we can see that the coriolis effect and density differences play the major roles in dictating the paths the water will travel, as in this aerial view of sea ice drifting off the southern Greenland coast. The coriolis effect makes ocean currents curve to the right (clockwise) in the northern hemisphere and to the left (counter-clockwise) in the southern hemisphere. This way it forms large circular ocean currents known as gyres. Scientists are concerned that melting water in the Arctic Ocean could change global ocean circulation patterns, alter climate and decimate marine fisheries. Freshwater is accumulating in the Arctic Ocean due to recent increases in melting ice, and scientists are concerned about the impacts this “massive, growing pool” of meltwater would have if it were to flow out into the North Atlantic Ocean. An influx of freshwater in the North Atlantic Ocean could change global ocean circulation patterns, alter climate and decimate marine fisheries. According to oceanographer …

Pin It

© 2015 Wild Alaska Travel – All Rights Reserved