Global ocean circulation

Global ocean circulation

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This image is part of the feature Hazardous Earth

Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Global ocean circulation. Satellite image of the Earth from space with a map of ocean circulation. Ocean currents flow around the world due to differences in temperature and salinity. A current of warm water (red) from the Pacific Ocean travels westward on the ocean surface. As it flows, it evaporates and becomes saltier. The Gulf Stream carries the warm, salty water up along the East Coast of the United States, then towards Europe. At colder northern latitudes, the water becomes so dense that it sinks to the sea floor and travels south (blue). Disruption of the Gulf Stream from global warming could result in ice-age conditions in Europe.

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Keywords: artwork, atlantic ocean, big chill, big freeze, climate change, climatological, climatology, computer artwork, continent, continents, conveyor belt, current, currents, deep water, earth observation, environment, from space, geographical, geography, global warming, gulf stream, ice age, illustration, meteorological, meteorology, natural hazard, ocean, ocean circulation, ocean conveyor, ocean conveyor belt, ocean current, ocean currents, oceanic circulation, oceans, pacific ocean, salt water, satellite, satellite image, thermohaline circulation, warm current, weather

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