The world ocean

  • Exhibition Text

    • Changes in ocean circulation strongly influence climate. This is because the circulation of water throughout the world’s five oceans, together with the atmosphere, transfers heat from the equator to the polar regions. The factors influencing how water circulates within each ocean and from one ocean to another include the spin of the Earth; the winds; the input of fresh water from rivers, rain, and melting ice; the positions of the continents; and the topography of the seafloor.

      Circulation in the ocean transfers solar heat from the equator to the poles.

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  • For Educators

    • Topic: Earth Science

      Subtopic: Climate/Climate Change

      Keywords: Atmospheric circulation, Temperature, Climatology, Ocean circulation, Ocean-atmosphere interaction

      Audience: General

In This Section

Deep-ocean circulation

Deep-ocean circulation

Water warmed at the equator by the Sun flows into the North Atlantic, where it is cooled and becomes more salty because of evaporation.