New deep current `found in Southern Ocean`

Last Updated: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 11:56

Washington: Scientists claim to have
located a very strong deep current in the Indian Ocean sector
of Southern Ocean, which is an important part of the network
that influences climate patterns.

A joint Japanese Australian team has found the ocean
current with a volume equivalent to 40 Amazon Rivers near the
Kerguelen plateau, in the Indian Ocean sector of the Southern
Ocean, 4200 kilometres southwest of Perth.

According to the scientists, the current, more than
three kilometres below the Ocean`s surface, is an important
pathway in a global network of ocean currents that influence
climate patterns.

"The current carries dense, oxygen rich water that
sinks near Antarctica to the deep ocean basins further north,"
said co-scientist Dr Steve Rintoul of the Antarctic Climate
and Ecosystems CRC and CSIRO`s Wealth from Oceans Flagship.

"Without this supply of Antarctic water, the deepest
levels of the ocean would have little oxygen. The ocean
influences climate by storing and transporting heat and carbon
dioxide -- the more the ocean stores, the slower the rate of
climate change.

"The deep current along the Kerguelen Plateau is part
of a global system of ocean currents called the overturning
circulation, which determines how much heat and carbon the
ocean can soak up," he added.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, May 27, 2010 - 11:56

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