Research

Mixing the Southern Ocean

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Motion in the ocean is driven by many factors, including temperature, salinity, geography, and atmospheric interactions. While global currents dictate much of the large-scale motion, it’s sometimes the smaller scales that impact the climate. This visualization shows numerically simulated data from the Southern Ocean over the course of a year. The eddies that swirl off from the main currents are responsible for much of the mixing that occurs between areas of different temperature, which ultimately impacts large-scale temperature distributions, in this case affecting the flux of heat toward Antarctica. (Video credit: I. Rosso, A. Klocker, A. Hogg, S. Ramsden; submitted by S. Ramsden)

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