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Salinity demonstration

A Slice of the Ocean

During a visit to WHOI's Ocean Science Exhibit Center, two future ocean scientists watch a demonstration of how salinity affects the density of water. Higher salinity makes water denser. As this demonstration shows, this denser water will sink below less-salty, less-dense water. Cold water is also denser than warmer water, and when water in the North Atlantic cools and becomes saltier as it loses fresh water to evaporation, it becomes denser and sinks. This helps drive the global overturning circulation pattern, a key link in Earth's climate system. The Ocean Science Exhibit Center is open Monday to Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Photo by Ken Kostel, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)


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