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What is another name for thermohaline circulation?
Thermohaline circulation, also called Global Ocean Conveyor or Great Ocean Conveyor Belt, the component of general oceanic circulation controlled by horizontal differences in temperature and salinity.
What is ocean surface circulation?
Ocean circulation is the large scale movement of waters in the ocean basins. Surface circulation carries the warm upper waters poleward from the tropics. Heat is disbursed along the way from the waters to the atmosphere. At the poles, the water is further cooled during winter, and sinks to the deep ocean.
What are surface ocean currents called?
The water of the ocean surface moves in a regular pattern called surface ocean currents. the currents are named. Surface ocean currents form large circular patterns called gyres. Gyres flow clockwise in Northern Hemisphere oceans and counterclockwise in Southern Hemisphere oceans because of the Coriolis Effect.
Are surface currents thermohaline?
Currents Tutorial Winds drive ocean currents in the upper 100 meters of the ocean’s surface. These deep-ocean currents are driven by differences in the water’s density, which is controlled by temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline). This process is known as thermohaline circulation.
Why is it called the thermohaline circulation?
As opposed to wind-driven currents and tides (which are due to the gravity of moon and sun), the thermohaline circulation (Fig. 1) is that part of the ocean circulation which is driven by density differences. Sea water density depends on temperature and salinity, hence the name thermo-haline.
What would happen if thermohaline circulation stopped?
– If global warming shuts down the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, the result could be catastrophic climate change. Between Greenland and Norway, the water cools, sinks into the deep ocean, and begins flowing back to the south.
What are the types of ocean circulation?
Two types of ocean circulation
- Equatorial currents. At the Equator the currents are for the most part directed toward the west, the North Equatorial Current in the Northern Hemisphere and the South Equatorial Current in the Southern Hemisphere.
- The subtropical gyres.
- The subpolar gyres.
What are the two types of ocean currents give examples?
Two major kinds of currents define the planet’s oceans: surface currents driven by wind and deep-water currents driven by variations in seawater density.
What event may stop the thermohaline circulation?
Michael Schlesinger, professor of atmospheric sciences, and research specialist Natasha Andronova and colleagues have co-written a report presented at the American Geophysical Union meeting that says if global warming shuts down the thermohaline circulation in the North Atlantic Ocean, the result could be catastrophic …
What are thermohaline currents how do they form?
Just as rivers on land flow downhill towards the sea, deep density-driven currents in the oceans move along submarine valleys towards the deepest parts of the ocean. The cold, salty waters that drive the thermohaline circulation form in the Arctic Ocean, the North Atlantic, and the Southern Ocean.
Where does the thermohaline circulation take place in the ocean?
Thermohaline circulation begins in the Earth’s polar regions. When ocean water in these areas gets very cold, sea ice forms. The surrounding seawater gets saltier, increases in density and sinks. Winds drive ocean currents in the upper 100 meters of the ocean’s surface.
What happens if the thermohaline circulation weakens?
Instead, a moderate weakening of the thermohaline circulation might occur that would lead to a dampening of surface warming—rather than actual cooling—in the higher latitudes of the North Atlantic Ocean. See also ocean current. This article was most recently revised and updated by John P. Rafferty, Editor.
Why is the thermohaline circulation called the conveyor belt?
The thermohaline circulation, often referred to as the ocean’s “conveyor belt”, links major surface and deep water currents in the Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, and Southern Oceans. Multiple mechanisms conspire to increase the density of surface waters at high latitudes. Cold winds blowing over the oceans chill the waters beneath them.
How does the circulation of the ocean affect the atmosphere?
The image below shows the characteristic surface currents of the ocean. At the ocean surface, currents are primarily driven by winds. These winds help the atmosphere and ocean to move heat around the world. The winds drive an ocean circulation transporting warm water to the poles along the sea surface.