This unique addition to reference literature provides an introduction to the major concepts and contemporary issues that are essential for students of environmental science and environmental studies to know. With over 200 entries authored by world-class names like Anthony Brazel, John Day and Edward Keller, this text is divided into six sections: Environmental Science, Environments, Paradigms & Concepts, Processes & Dynamics, Scales & Techniques, and Environmental Issues.  

Ocean Circulation

Ocean circulation

The circulation of the oceans is a complicated process affected by the rotation of the Earth, winds, salinity and temperature gradients, and the position of the continents. Ocean circulation is characterized by a six great surface circuits or geostrophic gyres in the north and south Atlantic, north and south Pacific, and in the Indian ocean. Water flows westerly along the equator (the north and south equatorial currents), then towards higher latitudes along the western edges of the oceans, then easterly towards the eastern boundaries of the ocean, and finally back towards the equator to join the equatorial current. In the north Atlantic, the current along the western boundary is the Gulf Stream, this joins the easterly North Atlantic current, and the southerly flowing ...

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