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Ocean Circulation

Tens of thousands of ocean currents are captured in this scientific visualization. (Image courtesy of NASA)

Currents, Gyres, & Eddies

These global maps centered on the Pacific Ocean show patterns of sea surface temperature during El Niño (left) and La Niña (right) episodes. The colors along the equator show areas that are warmer or cooler than the long-term average.

El Niño & Other Oscillations

Today’s climate system is influenced by the ocean’s conveyor-like global circulation. Cold, salty waters sink to drive the conveyor, and warm surface currents complete the loop. (Illustration by Jayne Doucette, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution)

The Ocean Conveyor