Deep-Water Circulation - The Hindu - 16/01/23
Recent studies have indicated that tectonically driven changes in the ocean gateways had a dramatic impact on the global overturning circulations.
Latest Findings Suggest:
-Studies suggest that changes in ocean routes caused by tectonics, like the closing of the Central American Seaway, had a big effect on ocean circulation.
-Central American Seaway is a body of water that once separated North America from South America,
-These changes may have led to the creation of two distinct water bodies:
a.Northern component water in the North Atlantic Ocean.
b. Antarctic Bottom Water (AABW) in the Southern Ocean.
-Consequently, it is also hypothesised that there would have been large-scale changes in the Deep-Water Circulation (DWC) in the oceans across the world, impacting global climate and heat exchanges.
Deep Water Circulation (DWC): It refers to the movement of water in the deep ocean. It is driven by the density differences between water masses caused by variations in temperature and salinity. In the Earth's polar regions ocean water gets very cold, forming sea ice. As a consequence, the surrounding seawater gets saltier, because when sea ice forms, the salt is left behind.
-Significance: Heat Distribution: It helps to distribute heat around the globe, which helps to regulate the Earth's temperature and keep different regions from becoming too hot or too cold. Maintaining Carbon Dioxide Levels: It plays a critical role in controlling atmospheric carbon dioxide levels by helping to transport carbon from the surface to the deep ocean, where it can be stored for long periods of time.
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