How does the ocean affect climate and weather on land? : Ocean Exploration Facts: NOAA Office of Ocean Exploration and Research
For this week’s #SeaAndMe post, we bring you #oceancurrents.
Ocean water is always on the move, and surface currents are no different! Rain or shine, currents keep on movin’ - up, down, to the side, keeping ocean temperatures under control.
Ocean currents are like giant rivers running through the ocean. They’re movements of water created mostly by #surfacewinds.
Ocean currents move with a purpose! They transport warm water & precipitation from the equator towards the poles & cold water from the poles back to the tropics.
Without currents, regional #temperatures would be more extreme – super hot at the equator, super cold in the poles. And much less of Earth’s land would be habitable. (side note: currents keep ocean temps under control, but temperature also drives currents)
In sum, currents distribute heat & absorb heat, so we can live where we do!
This illustration shows the major ocean currents throughout the globe. Ocean currents act as conveyer belts of warm and cold water, sending heat toward the polar regions and helping tropical areas cool off, thus influencing both weather and climate. Download image (jpg, 105 KB).