The winds that most affect the oceans’ currents are the Westerlies which produce belts of ocean currents that flow east in the mid-latitude and the Trade winds which generate currents that flow to the west in tropical latitudes. These winds are mainly a result of warm air from the tropics moving towards the poles. The direction of the current is not the same as the direction of the wind but it is deflected at a forty five degree angle. This deflection is resulted from the earth’s rotation on its axis called the Coriolis force/ effect. Coriolis force and constrains by continental land masses cause surface currents to develop into an alm... ... middle of paper ... ...in a vertical and horizontal direction and have a major impact of life on this planet.
Two main factors affecting the surface currents are wind and the Coriolis Effect. The Coriolis Effect explains how the rotation of the earth seems to cause a deflection of anything moving above the earth’s surface. It is this effect that causes winds and water in the northern hemisphere to appear to deflect to the right and in the southern hemisphere to deflect to the left. One of the major surface currents is the Gulf Stream. Water in around the Caribbean is warmed by the sun and then carried north and east along the coast North America.
In an El Nino year, the trade winds change direction and blow from Asia and the tropical Pacific towards North and South America (NOAA B, 2004). The changes in these winds, commonly called Southern Oscillation winds because the majority of activity happens in the southern parts of the Pacific, produce many other changes. In the final analysis, the winds are the root of this scheme. John Daly (2004) discussed how the winds produce major changes in the temperature of the ocean water. This is the second main concept of El Nino.
This affects the climate of the various continents on the way. The current that carries warm water from the Caribbean Sea, up the east coast of the United Stated and then to the west coasts of Britain and Northern Europe is called the Gulf Stream. These areas would be much colder without the Gulf Stream. The "pull" of the moon and the sun also affect the ocean by causing the tides.
The weather of a given region is highly affected by the changes that occur within the air mass over a specific period. The changes can also be attributed to the interaction with fronts, the boundary between two contracting air masses. The North American continent experiences numerous changes in its weather patterns. These changes can be attributed to the massive interaction of air masse... ... middle of paper ... ...uth of the US, raising the relative humidity. Eventually, the air mass leads to the development of fog and precipitation in the southern side of Northern America.
Those flowing south along coasts in the northern hemisphere keep summer temperatures cooler and the air drier than normal for that latitude. Coastal fogs occur when warmer air from over the land is cooled by the cold water. In tropical areas warm ocean currents, such as the Kuro Siwo which flows north towards Japan, are the source of the large amounts of energy and moisture that can result in the development of intense depressions or typhoons.
Over on the west coast, specifically in the Southern California region, sea levels have risen 0.01 inches up to two inches according to the web article, Climate Indicators in the United States, published by the EPA. This climate change significantly affects the inhabitants of coastal areas being that nearly 53% of the United States population resides there (Crossett et al. 2004). Increased sea levels can give way to a variety of problems: rapid coastal erosion, shoreline change, loss of natural protective barriers, saltwater intrusion into aquifers and surface water, changes in tidal prisms (volume of water in an inlet between high tide and low tide), and rising water tables ("Climate Change and Impacts of Sea Level Rise"). Ventura County is facing many issues with rapid coastal erosion and loss of natural protective barriers.
Wind-driven circulation result from the wind sets the surface waters into motion as currents. The currents generally flow horizontally-that is parallel to the earth¡¦s surface. The wind mainly affects only the upper 100 to 200 meters of water. However, the flow of wind-driven currents may extend to depths of 1,000 meters or more. Thermohaline circulation produces great vertical currents' hat flow from the surface to the ocean bottom and back.
The chemicals can be carried high and far into the atmosphere and can be deposited in areas far from the initial source of the pollution. (5) High carbon monoxide, ocean heating, glacial melt, acid rain, ocean acidification, and coral bleaching are just a small number of the adverse effects that we as humans are having on the planet. The earth’s waters are an excellent source to find out the adverse effects of climate change. The surface of the earth is covered in more water than land and knowing how our waters are affected is a key element to understanding the true dangers of climate change.