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The Ocean Conveyor


Ice, Wind & Fury

Ice, Wind & Fury

Greenlanders are well away of piteraqs, the hazardous torrents of cold air that sweep down off the ice cap. But scientists are just beginning to unravel how and when piteraqs form.

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Fathoming the Ocean Without Ever Going to Sea

Fathoming the Ocean Without Ever Going to Sea

“The general circulation of the ocean is a massive and majestic phenomenon,” says WHOI physical oceanographer Joe Pedlosky. In 2005, Pedlosky was awarded the prestigious Sverdrup Gold Medal of the American Meteorological Society for his theories explaining the inner workings of the ocean and the atmosphere. Not bad for an oceanographer who has never gone on a research cruise.

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Adventure in the Labrador Sea

Adventure in the Labrador Sea

The sound of the general alarm bell reverberated through the ship. At 2:30 AM, this couldn’t be a drill. Even more puzzling, we were still dockside in Halifax, four hours from our scheduled departure for the Labrador Sea.

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North Atlantic’s Transformation Pipeline Chills and Redistributes Subtropical Water

North Atlantic's Transformation Pipeline Chills and Redistributes Subtropical Water

Warm and salty waters from the upper part of the South Atlantic flow northward across the equator and then progress through the tropical and subtropical North Atlantic to reach high latitudes. Beginning with the intense northward flow of the Gulf Stream off the East Coast of the United States, these waters are exposed to vigorous cooling, liberating considerable oceanic heat to the atmosphere. This is the first stage of “warm water transformation within the North Atlantic, a process that culminates in the high latitude production of cold and fresh waters that return to the South Atlantic in deep reaching currents beneath the warm waters of the subtropics and tropics.

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