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Geography Notes: Ocean Currents of the World

Geography Notes: Ocean Currents of the World

Today we are sharing Notes on Ocean Currents one of the most important topics of geography for SSC CGL, MTS, CHSL, CPO, RAILWAY and other competitive exams.

Major Ocean Currents

The water on the surface of the oceans is constantly flowing in one direction from one place to another.

These flowing movements of water in oceans are called ocean currents.

Ocean current, stream made up of horizontal and vertical components of the circulation system of ocean waters.

It is produced by gravity, wind friction, and water density variation in different parts of the ocean.

The current’s direction and speed depend on the shoreline and the ocean floor.

They can flow for thousands of miles and are found in all the major oceans of the world.

Ocean currents are similar to winds in the atmosphere in that they transfer significant amounts of heat from Earth’s equatorial areas to the poles.

Ocean currents influence the temperature of the regions through which they travel.

For example, warm currents travelling along more temperate coasts increase the temperature of the area by warming the sea breezes that blow over them.

Perhaps the most striking example is the Gulf Stream, which makes north-west Europe much more temperate than any other region at the same latitude.

Another example is Lima, Peru where the climate is cooler than the tropical latitudes in which the area is located, due to the effect of the Humboldt Current.

Based on temperature ocean currents can broadly be divided into two classes:

1. The Warm Currents

  • These are those currents which flow from the low latitudes in Tropical Zones towards the high latitudes in the Temperate and Sub-polar Zones.
  • They bring warm water into cold water areas.
  • 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.

2. The Cold Currents

  • These currents have a lower surface temperature and bring cold water into warm water areas.
  • These currents flow in the high latitudes from the Polar regions towards the low latitudes in the warm Equator region
  • Currents in the western part of every continent is cold.
  • Currents coming from the polar region are generally cold.
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