Ocean currents are the regular movements of water in the oceans. How do Ocean currents affect climate has been discussed below. Ocean Currents affect climate in the following ways
Affect Temperatures: Currents influence the climatic conditions of the regions in which they blow. The warm equatorial currents raise the temperature of the region in which they blow. Similarly, the cold currents lower the temperature of the places where they blow. For example, British Isles would have been extremely cold without the warm North Atlantic Drift. The hot climate of Peru is cooled by the cold Peru Current.
Affect Rainfall: The winds blowing over warm currents pick up and carry moisture and bring rainfall. For example, the North Atlantic Drift brings rainfall in some areas located along the western coasts of Europe. On the contrary, cold currents do not bring rainfall and make the region cooler and drier. The Kalahari Desert hardly experiences rainfall because of the cold Benguela Current.
Fog: The meeting of the warm and cool currents results in the creation of fog. For example, the Japanese coast experiences heavy fog when the warm Kuroshio current meets the cold Oyashio current.
Violent Storms: At times, the meeting line of a warm and cold current may cause a violent storm. The hurricanes which occur off the coast of the USA follow the line where the Gulf Stream merges with the Labrador Current.
- The mixing of warm and cold currents results in the deposition of plankton. Therefore, at such places, fish can be found in abundance.
- Currents help the ships to sail if they follow the directions of the currents.
- Many warm currents keep the ports of Europe ice-free even during the winters. This helps in trade and commerce.
- The ships face danger because of the fogs caused by the meeting of the warm currents with the cold currents. This has resulted in the wreckage of many ships in the past as they were not able to view icebergs because of poor visibility.
Also, Read Movements of Ocean Waters