Oceanographic Tools to Measure Currents

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Introduction The questions what causes polar ice to melt, variation in temperature at same latitudes, climate change and others have led meteorologist, ocean scientist and other researchers to investigate currents. According to the oxforddictionaries.com, a current is a body of water or air moving in a definite direction, especially through a surrounding body of water or air in which there is less movement. Currents can be generated both on the ocean surface flowing horizontally and sub surface flowing vertically. However these currents are generated by different factors. Horizontal currents are generated by the wind blowing across the ocean surface while vertical currents are generated by the density differences in water masses caused by temperature and salinity variation. To understand the significance of these currents researchers used a number of oceanographic tools which incorporates different techniques to measure them. The Lagrangian measurement incorporates all drifter measurements, which was named after the mathematician Joseph Louis Lagrange while the Eulerian measurement incorporates measuring currents of a fluid at only a given point and was named after Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler (oceanservice.noaa.gov). Ocean currents are typically measured in Knots. According to NOAA ocean service education, Knot is defined as one nautical mile per hour and is used to measure speed (oceanservice.noaa.gov). Oceanographic Tools to Measure Currents Incorporating both the Lagrangian and Eulerian measurements allowed researchers to measure both surface and sub surface currents. The floating devices, which scientist call a ‘drifter’, to take the measure surface current as well as devices which scientist call a ‘profiling floats’ ,... ... middle of paper ... ...er fisher come and feed on the smaller fisher and hence produces a large fishing industry. When two currents flow towards each other on show it pushes the flow of the current outward which causes a rip current. Rip current can be dangerous but it is an easy way for surfers to get out in the sea and catch the wave. Works Cited current: definition of current in Oxford dictionary (American English) (US). (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.oxforddictionaries.com/us/definition/american_english/current NOAA's National Ocean Service Education: Currents: How Are Currents Measured?(n.d.). Retrieved from http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/currents/07measure2.html NOAA Ocean Explorer: Education - Multimedia Discovery Missions | Lesson 8 - Ocean Currents. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://oceanexplorer.noaa.gov/edu/learning/8_ocean_currents/ocean_currents.html#slide

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