Day 3 – Q 2. Where are the major warm and cool ocean currents located in respect to Earth’s continents? Which currents have the greatest effects on North America?
2. Where are the major warm and cool ocean currents located in respect to Earth’s continents? Which currents have the greatest effects on North America?
2. पृथ्वी के महाद्वीपों के संबंध में स्थित प्रमुख गर्म और शांत महासागर धाराएं कहां हैं? उत्तरी अमेरिका पर कौन से धाराओं का सबसे बड़ा प्रभाव पड़ता है?
- Define ocean currents and their types briefly.
- Elaborate the types with a diagrammatic representation.
- Discuss briefly about the current’s greatest effects on North America.
Ocean currents are like river flow in oceans, representing a regular volume of water in a definite path and direction. Based on temperature, they are classified as a) Cold/cool currents: bring cold water (higher to lower latitudes) into warm water areas and b) Warm currents: bring warm water into cold water areas.
Cold currents: These are usually found on the west coast of the continents in the low and middle latitudes (true in both hemispheres) and on the east coast in the higher latitudes in the Northern hemisphere. Some of the major cold currents are:
Warm currents: These are usually observed on the east coast of continents in the low and middle latitudes (true in both hemispheres) and on the west coasts of continents in high latitudes.
The ocean currents having the greatest effects on North America are:
- Labrador and Gulf stream:
The mixing of both the cold and warm currents leads to replenishing of plankton at the surface waters off Newfoundland coast resulting in one of the world’s best fishing grounds and foggy conditions as well.
Gulf Stream helps in keeping the ports ice free to a certain extent and augments precipitation as well.
- Alaska current:
Helps in keeping the ports along the western coast ice free, due to warming effect.
- California current:
Due to desiccating effect, results in the dryness along the western California region I.e., Mojave Desert.
Thus, apart from balancing the thermal distribution over the latitudes, ocean currents play a very critical role in shaping the climate of region and affecting social and economic life of people.