Water Circulation

Ocean Conveyor Belt

Photo by Yuzwan Mohamad

Conveyor belts ain’t just found in sushi restaurants!
The ocean conveyor belt connects the surface and bottom currents of all five oceans namely the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic and Southern Ocean through thermohaline cycle (thermo = temperature; haline = salinity).

As these oceans cover nearly ¾ of the Earth surface, they also receive the highest amount of sunlight and heat especially at the low latitudinal areas and the equator. Thus, the ocean located within these areas becomes warmer. Since the density of warmer water is basically lower and lighter, this volume of warmer waters will follow the surface currents that will move towards higher latitudinal areas such as to the Atlantic Ocean.

Ocean Hope Message: If the Earth’s temperature continues to rise, this could slow down the flow of our conveyor belt, further heating up our planet and disrupting marine life.

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