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science currents p.3

science ocean currents part three

what is a current? a large stream of moving water that flows through the oceans.
what does a current do? it carries water great distances. some currents move water at the surface of the ocean while others move the deep water.
things that can effect ocean currents. wind, temp of the water, density of the water, el Niño.
what are surface currents? is when the affect of water to a depth of several hundred meters, are driven mainly by winds. They move in a circular pattern in 5 major ocean basins.
what is the gulf stream? largest and most powerful surface current in the north Atlantic ocean.
what is the gulf stream caused by? strong winds from the west.
what does the gulf stream carry? warm water from the gulf of Mexico to the Caribbean sea, then northward along the coast of the U.S
what is the coriolis effect? the effect of earths rotation on the direction or winds and currents.
what does the coriolis effect do? in the northern hemisphere it causes the current s to curve clockwise. In the southern hemisphere it causes the currents to curve counter clockwise.
what are deep currents? they are caused by differences in density rather then surface winds.
what does density depend on? temp and salinity.
what do the deep currents do? they carry cold water from the poles back toward the equator.
what are the deep currents also affected by? the colriolos.
what is el Niño? abnormal climate event that occurs every 2 to 7 years in the pacific ocean. it begins when an unusual pattern of winds form over the western pacific.
what does el Niño causes? a vast sheet of warm water to move eastward toward the south American coast. it can last to 1 to 2 years before the usual winds and currents return.
Created by: _briannab44_