The Ocean Circulation

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The ocean circulation can be defined like the global movement of water, which occurs in the ocean basins. These movement of water are the ocean currents, which plays an important role in the climate since store and distribute heat, microorganisms like nutrients and freshwater all over the world. Therefore, any change that modifies the ocean circulation will alter drastically the global climate. In this section it will be broadly explained the factors, which determine the ocean circulation and a classification will be presented.

The ocean currents are influenced by several factor like the interaction between Earth, the sun and the moon, the wind and also by physical properties.

The gravitational attraction of the sun and the moon over
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Due to the Coriolis force, wind driven current are diverted to the right of the wind direction in the Northern Hemisphere. The opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere where current are diverted to the left. This effect is not observed at the Equator because there the Coriolis force is equal to zero. On the other hand, the topography can be the bathymetry and the location of the coasts. An example of topography effect over wind driven currents is the upwelling. This phenomenon consists on a vertical movement of deep water to replace the surface water transport moving away from coast. For example, this occurs at the Norther Hemisphere when wind flows parallel to the coast and the ocean is on the right, which causes an offshore surface …show more content…
At this point, the current gets cold again intensifying the conveyor belt. Then, it splits into two branches. One branch moves into the Indian Ocean and the other one moves into the Pacific Ocean. When these branches of cold water reach those oceans at the equator, they star to warm up becoming into a surface water due to the reduction of its density. That is the reason this circulation is known as density-driven. Finally, the surface warm water flows south and westward to continue its circulation until it returns to the North Atlantic Ocean to complete the cycle and start over.

The conveyor belt are the main factor that maintains the contribution of carbon dioxide and nutrients necessary for the development of life in the oceans. In addition, it regulates climate due to the poleward transport of heat content from the equator, which for example, moderates winters temperature in Europe. Therefore, scientific community is concerned about the effect of global warming over the conveyor belt since alterations on the sink of water (cold and salty) it will be translated as serious temperature changes in

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