Story: Ocean currents and tides

Great ocean conveyor belt

Great ocean conveyor belt

As water near the poles cools it sinks, generating a current that slowly moves through the world’s oceans. Known as the great ocean conveyor belt, this movement continuously flushes the deep ocean basins with surface waters, taking oxygen down to the abysses and allowing life to exist there.

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Source: National Oceanography Centre, Southampton

Base map: NASA Visible Earth

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How to cite this page:

Craig Stevens and Stephen Chiswell, 'Ocean currents and tides - The ocean’s role in climate change', Te Ara - the Encyclopedia of New Zealand, (accessed 29 March 2023)

Story by Craig Stevens and Stephen Chiswell, published 12 Jun 2006