Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
OCEAN CURRENTS AFFECT not only the temperature, but also the precipitation on land areas adjacent to the ocean. A cold ocean current near land causes the air just above the water to be cold, while the air above is warm. There is very little opportunity for convection, thus denying moisture to nearby land. Coastal deserts of the world usually border cold ocean currents. Contrary to this, warm ocean currents, such as Gulf Stream, bring moisture to the adjacent land areas. The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic Ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, exits through the strait of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland (Canadian island) before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It carries a huge amount of warm water to northerly lands, which has enormous significance to ...