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Currents around the world

A view of the global ocean circulation shows currents swirling around the hills and valleys in the sea surface. Currents flow around hills in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere, and in an anticlockwise direction around valleys (the opposite occurs in the Southern Hemisphere). These currents form loops on either side of the Equator. Sea surface heights also vary across the oceans: the largest difference and height between the Pacific and the Atlantic is due to variations in salinity.

  • Gulf Stream & Kuroshio

    The Gulf Stream and the Kuroshio are western boundary currents. They are formed by easterly winds, are very turbulent and exhibit sharp variations in direction, speed and temperature.

  • Circumpolar current

    Antarctic Circumpolar Current is unique in many ways, since it is the only current not bounded by a continent, thus allowing water to flow between oceans.

  • Monsoon currents

    Monsoon is one of the major climatic features on Earth, that involves both ocean and atmophere, with a seasonal shift : the Summer monsoon is wet whereas the Winter monsoon is dry.

  • South Indian Counter Current

    Ocean currents can be discovered in the 21st century: oceanographers found a current, the South Indian Counter Current, looking closely at altimetry data.

  • Leeuwin current extended

    Use of altimetry measurements helped in proving that three "currents" identified in west and South of Australia (the Leeuwin Current, the South Australian Current and the Zeehan Current) were part of a unique current following the Australian coasts.

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