Great Ocean Conveyor to Circulate Water of the World

Although it may not seem like it at times, the ocean is constantly in motion both above and below the water. Underneath the surface of the water there are currents and waves that are caused by the winds on the surface of the sea. The earth's gravity also has a say in the swell and the tide of the ocean as it pulls it back and forth in a grand lunar dance. Deep below that surface of the ocean is another type of motion that is called the Great Ocean Conveyor, or the thermohaline circulation. Not many people know about the Conveyor but it is very much alive and moving in the oceans of the world. The Great Ocean Conveyor doesn't move very fast but it does incorporate enough water to fill the Amazon River at least one hundred times.

The movement of the Great Ocean Conveyor has been recorded at 10cm each second and the amount of water that moves each second equals approximately thirty million cubic meters. With so much movement happening below the ocean why don't we notice it from above? The water at the surface of the ocean is greatly heated by the sun at the earth's equator. As this water flows upward to the higher latitudes this heat is slowly released into the earth's atmosphere. When this once warm water starts to cool down it becomes thicker and heavier, causing it to drift towards the bottom of the ocean. It is this water deep in the ocean that circulates around and around, emerging at the surface of the ocean, somewhere in the world, many years later. The Great Ocean Conveyor continues to move water around until it rises and becomes warmer.

Cold ocean water from the northern end of the planet sinks down and becomes part of the Great Ocean Conveyor, only to emerge years later in a warmer climate. It is the Great Ocean Conveyor that keeps the water of the world circulating and mixing, keeping the earth healthy.

James Hunt has spent 15 years as a professional writer and researcher covering stories that cover a whole spectrum of interest. Read more at


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