From Global Warming Art
This map shows the pattern of thermohaline circulation also known as "meridional overturning circulation". This collection of currents is responsible for the large-scale exchange of water masses in the ocean, including providing oxygen to the deep ocean. The entire circulation pattern takes ~2000 years.
The surface currents are driven primarily by surfaces winds, but are also influenced by the Coriolis effect and physical impediments like continents. At a small number of specific polar regions, the surface water become denser than the underlying deep water and can sink. This densification is based on a combination of very low temperatures and relatively high salinity. These sinking currents flow into and across the deep ocean basins and circulate across the global ocean system before eventually returning to the surface, mostly in the Pacific and Indian Ocean basins.
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|current||18:53, 29 March 2008||1,100×690 (122 KB)||Robert A. Rohde|
|07:31, 29 March 2008||1,100×690 (121 KB)||Robert A. Rohde|