How Do Warm And Cold Currents Cycle
How are warm and cold currents caused?
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How do cold currents flow?
For example, along the west coasts of the continents, the currents flow toward the equator in both hemispheres. These are called cold currents as they bring cool water from the polar regions into the tropical regions. The cold current off the west coast of the United States is called the California Current.
Where do warm and cold current flow?
Warm ocean currents originate near the equator and move towards the poles or higher latitudes while cold currents originate near the poles or higher latitudes and move towards the tropics or lower latitudes. The current’s direction and speed depend on the shoreline and the ocean floor.
What causes current currents?
Answer: An ocean current is a continuous, directed movement of sea water generated by a number of forces acting upon the water, including wind, the Coriolis effect, breaking waves, cabbeling, and temperature and salinity differences.
How do currents form?
In the Northern Hemisphere, for example, predictable winds called trade winds blow from east to west just above the equator. The winds pull surface water with them, creating currents. As these currents flow westward, the Coriolis effect—a force that results from the rotation of the Earth—deflects them.
What is the difference between warm and cold ocean currents?
Those currents that flow from the Equator towards the poles are warmer than the surrounding water and so they are called warm currents. The ocean currents that flow from the polar areas towards the Equator are cooler compared to the surrounding water, so they are called cold currents.
Are surface currents that flow towards the equator generally warm or cold?
We can divide ocean currents into two categories based on temperature: warm and cold currents. Think of cold currents as currents moving toward the Equator. These waters are colder than the water they are moving into.
Why do cold ocean currents move towards the equator?
Because the Earth’s equator is warmed by the most direct rays of the Sun, air at the equator is hotter than air further north or south. This hotter air rises up at the equator and as colder air moves in to take its place, winds begin to blow and push the ocean into waves and currents.
Why some ocean currents are warm and some are cold?
Differences in water density, resulting from the variability of water temperature (thermo) and salinity (haline), also cause ocean currents. This process is known as thermohaline circulation. In cold regions, such as the North Atlantic Ocean, ocean water loses heat to the atmosphere and becomes cold and dense.
Where are warm currents generated?
Warm ocean currents originate near the equator and move towards the poles or higher latitudes while cold currents originate near the poles or higher latitudes and move towards the tropics or lower latitude.