May 18, 2009 – New North Atlantic Circulation Path Found – UPI.com

WOODS HOLE, Mass., May 18 (UPI) — U.S. scientists say they have discovered a new pathway for the global ocean circulation known as the Great Ocean Conveyor.

Researchers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and Duke University said the conveyor belt paradigm says the Gulf Stream-warmed ocean releases heat to the atmosphere in the northern North Atlantic, leaving ocean water colder and denser as it moves north. The cold waters then sink and flow southward along the “deep western boundary current” that hugs the continental slope from Canada to the equator. To replace the down-flowing water, warm surface waters from the tropics are pulled northward along the conveyor’s upper limb.

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