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article imageDeep ocean current that regulates global climate discovered

By Gordon K. Chan     Apr 27, 2010 in Environment
A deep high-speed ocean current has been located by scientists. Discovered in the Indian Ocean, this current is thought to be an integral part of the global ocean circulatory system.
Found more than three kilometers below the Indian Ocean by Australian and Japanese scientists is an ocean current that transports icy, oxygen-rich northern water from Antartica to the eastern Indian Ocean and the South Pacific, reports the Sydney Herald.
It is a sizeable discovery, as this current moves 8 million cubic meters per second of cold water, equivalent to eight times the flow of all of the world's rivers.
Further, it is four times the size of the current that is on the other side of Antarctica.
The reason why this current is such an important addition to the global network of ocean currents is because this transport system supplies oxygenated water from the Antarctic to the deepest parts of the world's ocean's.
Without it, deep ocean waters would have no oxygen.
The volume of the current is equivalent to 40 Amazon rivers, swirls clockwise and moves at 20 centimeters per second, the fastest recorded current below 3000 meters, reports The Australian.
A two year study by scientists report that the ocean influences climate by storing and transporting heat and carbon dioxide.
Effectively, the ocean "soaks up" heat and carbon consequently affecting ocean temperatures. Changes in sea surface temperature is linked to weather phenomena such as cyclones, droughts and floods.
This new current proves "vital oceanographic measurements" and further study will allow for a deeper understanding of exactly how ocean circulation affects global climate.
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