This constant cycling of water helps moderate temperatures across the planet, by creating ocean temperature variations that are less extreme than those found on land. Warm and cool ocean currents. Early on, the study of currents was important due to shipping concerns: A knowledge of ocean currents allowed sailors to safely reach their destination, or to get there more quickly. The ocean currents can flow for thousands of kilometers and create a global conveyer belt which is important in determining the climate of different regions of the earth. They absorb the heat they receive in the tropics, thereby cooling the air above them. Winds blowing over a warm current become warm and at the same time, pick up moisture, as warm winds are able to retain more moisture. Warm and Cold currents affect the local climate of a region. As ocean water is heated by the sun, it evaporates and is transformed into water vapor that increases the temperature and humidity of the air, forming rain and storms. by Hokkaido University. Without currents in the ocean, regional temperatures would be more extreme—super hot at the equator … Ocean currents that have a northward or southward component, such as the warm Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic or the cold Peru (Humboldt) Current off South America, effectively exchange heat between low and high latitudes. Quick Navigation for How Ocean Currents Affect Climate, [1] https://rmets.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/joc.783. The oceans directly absorb more than two-thirds of the Sun’s heat, and overall 25 percent of the planet’s global heat budget is transferred through the actions of ocean currents [8]. The Fifth Assessment Report published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 2013 revealed that it has thus far absorbed 93% of the extra energy from the enhanced greenhouse effect, with warming now being observed at depths of 1,000 m. As a consequence, this has led to increased ocean … Click the magnifying glass icon on the map for an example of this interaction off the coast of Africa. • Students will describe how ocean surface currents affect climate on land. Currents carry warm water from the tropics toward the poles and bring cold water back toward the equator. Ocean currents bring warm water and rain from the equator to the poles and cold water from the poles toward the equator. How Do Ocean Currents Affect Weather? Ocean and atmospheric circulation play an essential role in sustaining life by moderating climate over much of Earth's surface. In a pair of papers published Wednesday in Nature , two sets of independent researchers used very different techniques to reach the same startling conclusion. The majority of radiation is stored in the tropical regions near the equator. This determines the agricultural and hence all other economic activities of the region. A new study from MIT researchers published last month in Nature Communications provides evidence that not only do certain currents become stronger in certain seasons, but also that this seasonality affects both marine life and climate. more space in the ocean. This has helped prevent faster-rising temperatures on land, but contributed to an overall warming of the oceans that could disrupt ocean currents while creating stronger hurricanes, typhoons and tropical storms. For example, the California Current which makes some place in the western coast of USA have a lower temperature than some others on the same latitude. Over 90% of the heat radiated by the sun is absorbed by the oceans and the remainder is absorbed by the land. Ocean currents, which help regulate the climate and influence weather systems, have been speeding up over the past two decades as … Currents affect climate by moving cold and warm water around the globe. The Earth features thousands of microclimates, which is a testimony to the complexity of the factors that determine temperatures, rainfall patterns, winds, humidity levels and other climatological elements. How does climate change affect the ocean? We’ve seen some severe demonstrations of how a change in ocean currents could negatively affect climate conditions. In addition to the influence of their currents, the oceans also affect climate by absorbing a goodly percentage of the Sun’s heat, including that which hits directly and that which is trapped by the Earth’s atmosphere. Ocean currents affect the temperature by moving hot or cold water from one location to another. 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