the

Global Conveyor belt-Ocean Currents caused by temperature and Salinity

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global conveyor belt the global conveyor

belt is a series of ocean currents that

snake around the world they are called

thermal haline currents because they are

the result of changes in temperature and

salinity the adjective thermal haline is

derived from thermo referring to

temperature and hay line referring to

salt cold water is more dense than warm

water and water if high salinity has a

greater density than less salty water

these changes in temperature and

salinity create currents in the ocean

the conveyor belt begins on the surface

of the ocean near the pole in North

Atlantic here the water is chilled by

the Arctic temperature it also gets

saltier because when warm when ice forms

in the ocean the salt does not freeze

and is left behind in the surrounding

water the cold water is now more dense

due to the increased salinity and

temperature and sinks towards the ocean

bottom surface water moves in to replace

the sinking water and creates a current

that moves south towards the equator

down towards the ends of Africa and

South America the current now travels

around the edge of Antarctica where the

water cools and sinks again as it does

in the North Atlantic

thus the conveyor belt gets recharged as

it moves around Antarctica two sections

split off of the conveyor and moved

northward one section moves into the

Indian Ocean the other into the Pacific

Ocean

the two branches of the current warm and

rise as they travel northward then loop

back southward and westward the non warm

surface waters continue circulating

around the globe and eventually return

to the North Atlantic where the cycle

begins again the conveyor belt moves at

a much slower speed than wind driven or

tidal currents and it's estimated that a

cubic metre of water takes roughly a

thousand years to complete the journey

on the global conveyor belt the conveyor

belt is important because it provides

vital ocean nutrient and carbon dioxide

cycles warm surface waters of depleted

of nutrients and carbon

dioxide but they are enriched again as

they travel through the conveyor and

around the world the base of the world's

food chain depends on the cool nutrient

with rich waters that support the growth

of algae and seaweed so there we go the

global conveyor belt keeping the oceans

different full of nutrients and happy

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