Phenomena

Mediterranean Currents

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Ocean currents play a major role in the weather and climate of our planet. This video shows a simulation of the surface ocean currents in the Mediterranean and Atlantic over an 11-month period. Each second corresponds to 2.75 days. You’ll see many swirling eddies in the Mediterranean and more flow along the coastlines in the Atlantic. One observation worth noting: near the end of the video, you’ll notice that flow through the Strait of Dover between England and France changes its direction, flowing back and forth depending on tidal forces. In contrast, flow through the Strait of Gibraltar is always into the Mediterranean (within the timescale of the simulation, at least). This net in-flow to the Mediterranean is due in part to the warm waters there evaporating at a higher rate than the cooler Atlantic. (Video credit: NASA; via Flow Viz; h/t to Ralph L)

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