Ocean Circulation and Currents - Research Article from World of Earth Science

This encyclopedia article consists of approximately 3 pages of information about Ocean Circulation and Currents.
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Ocean Circulation and Currents

Ocean circulation is the large, connected system of water movements in the oceans, including not only the surface movement, but also the slow, deep-water circulations. While the surface currents are caused by the winds and a geographically uneven solar energy distribution, the deep ocean currents are the result of sinking and upwelling water, and termohaline (temperature and salinity) differences. The atmospheric and oceanic circulations are linked together, and this global ocean circulation system transfers heat from low to higher latitudes, making the oceans responsible for about 40% of the global heat transport. Although there are similarities between the atmospheric and oceanic circulations, ocean currents move slower than winds, with a speed of about several kilometers per day to a few kilometers per hour.

The system of surface currents resembles the major wind patterns of the atmosphere. However, the surface currents do not move...

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This section contains 880 words
(approx. 3 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Ocean Circulation and Currents Encyclopedia Article
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World of Earth Science
Ocean Circulation and Currents from World of Earth Science. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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