The global oceanic conveyer belt

The global oceanic conveyer belt - 1 The global oceanic...

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1 The global oceanic conveyer belt (shown above in a simplified illustration), is a unifying concept that connects the ocean's surface and thermohaline (deep mass) circulation regimes, transporting heat and salt on a planetary scale. The conveyor belt system can be thought of as beginning near Greenland and Iceland in the North Atlantic where dry, cold winds blowing from northern Canada chill surface waters. The combined chilling of surface waters, evaporation, and sea-ice formation produces cold, salty North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The newly formed NADW sinks and flows southward along the continental slope of North and South America toward Antarctica where the water mass then flows eastward around the Antarctic continent (in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current). There the NADW mixes with Antarctic waters (i.e., AABW and AADW). The resulting Common Water, also called Antarctic Circumpolar water, flows northward at depth into the three ocean basins (primarily the Pacific and Indian Oceans). These bottom waters gradually warm and mix with overlying waters as they flow northward.
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This note was uploaded on 03/05/2008 for the course EE BIOL 109 taught by Professor Cassano during the Winter '08 term at UCLA.

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The global oceanic conveyer belt - 1 The global oceanic...

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