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Stommel, Henry (1920–92)

HENRY STOMMEL IS an American oceanographer and meteorologist whose theories on general circulation patterns in the Atlantic Ocean made him the creator of the modern field of dynamical oceanography. Stommel carried out a series of research studies and first suggested that the Earth's rotation is responsible for the Gulf Stream along the coast of North America. He theorized that its northward thrust must be balanced by a stream of cold water moving in the opposite direction beneath it. Carl Wunsch has described Stommel as “a transitional figure, being probably the last of the creative physical oceanographers with no advanced degree, uncomfortable with the way the science had changed, and deeply nostalgic for his early scientific days.” Stommel has been praised for being both a creative ...

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