Research has found that changes in ocean currents in the Atlantic Ocean influence Date: January 26, ; Source: University of Texas at Austin The Atlantic Ocean surface circulation is an important part of the Earth's global climate , It shows that a correlation exists between the current and rainfall patterns, and that. Hurricanes originate over the tropical regions of the ocean under conditions where high humidity, light winds, and warm sea surface temperatures combine. Ocean currents act as conveyer belts of warm and cold water, sending heat toward Outside of Earth's equatorial areas, weather patterns are driven largely by.
These movements occur in currents, which, though not always constant, have certain very observable tendencies. As the ocean waters swirl around in currents, they affect the climates of the world's coastal lands significantly.
Global Ocean Circulation
Trends In the northern hemisphere, ocean currents tend to flow in a clockwise motion. In the southern hemisphere, they tend to flow in a counterclockwise motion.
These circular flows are called gyres, and they do sometimes reverse. Causes Just as the heating of air close to the ground causes convection that is the source of virtually all meteorological phenomena, the heating of equatorial waters is the cause of virtually all ocean currents.
Research finds link between rainfall and ocean circulation in past and present
As water heats, it expands and this expansion causes it to push outward into cooler areas. As it cools, it contracts, and this contraction causes it to flow toward the area vacated by warm water. Sciencing Video Vault Effects When land borders the ocean, the currents of the ocean warm or cool it, depending on the nature of the particular current that flows by that land.
In cases where a warm current flows along a particular coast, that coastal area will generally be warmer than it would otherwise be if it were landlocked.
How Do Ocean Currents Affect Coastal Climates? | Sciencing
A figure showing correlations between salinity in the Gulf of Mexico and rainfall on the continents in the modern era and the Little Ice Age. The colors represent rainfall green is wetter conditions, brown is drier and salinity red is more saline conditions, blue is fresher. The modern era shows decadal-scale correlations between surface-ocean salinity in the northern Gulf of Mexico and salinity elsewhere in the oceans and rainfall on the continents.
The shapes represent how data on rainfall during the Little Ice Age correlates with salinity data from the Gulf of Mexico from the same time period. The rainfall data was collected from proxy records, such as tree rings and cave formations, and the salinity data from sediment cores.
Thirumalai et all, To calculate the correlation during the Little Ice Age, researchers compared the core data with proxies for precipitation data, such as data from tree rings, cave formations and other natural records. And to calculate the modern correlation, they compared data collected by humans during the last century on the temperature and salinity of the Gulf and rainfall in the Western Hemisphere.
They also analyzed data from a climate model developed by the Max-Planck Institute for Meteorology in Germany to predict what the correlation between the current and rainfall would be expected to be during the Little Ice Age.
The results indicate that in present and past the Atlantic Ocean surface currents correlate with rainfall patterns in the Western Hemisphere.