Sticking with the theme of ocean currents, (from portfolio #2), I will reflect on Jan Kay?s Dec. 4, 2000 article titled ?Warming taking food from Pacific.? This article was retrieved from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel . According to this article, warmer waters and changing ocean currents within the Pacific Ocean maybe causing a decline in plankton. Ocean plankton are the food source for many larger ocean creatures. According to a 50 year study, conducted by California Cooperative Fisheries Investigation (CCFI), ocean waters are 2 degrees warmer. CCFI states that within the past two decades, especially in an El Nino year, warmer tropical Pacific Ocean currents have moved south to north along the California coast.
Winds blow in directions that don?t cause upwelling. Thus, the plants and and animals, which are usually, brought to the surface during upwelling are not arriving. According to yearly research, conducted by a multitude of agencies, plankton counts dwindle every November and February due to warmer waters. I am unfamiliar with the basic requirements of life for plankton. What I am familiar with are ocean currents and, this article seems to be accurate in comparssion to other sources.* It is commonly thought that water within the South Pacific is warmed by the tropical sun. The Coriolis effect, in the Northern hemisphere, diverts surface currents to the right which moves the water westerly towards SE Asia . This causes colder more dense water from the higher latitudes along the western coast of Canada and the U.S. The water from the higher latitudes begins to upwell as it moves south.
An ocean surface current is a constantly directed and continuous movement or flow of ocean water. Major ocean surface current patterns are powered by the wind. However, these patterns are also largely influenced by other factors such as the Corolis effect, which is the deflection of the water to the direction of the wind, the differences in heating across the globe, and the structure of the ...
This water begins to upwell because it is becoming warmer and less dense as it approaches the tropics. According to this article and satellite sensors which, help scientist map the oceans circulation, show that waters along the western U.S. have been relatively warmer. Possible reasons for this could be a result of global warming, warmer climates in the North Pacific Ocean, and/or an increase frequency in the appearance of El Nino.
References 1. National Geographic Oct. 2000 2. http://www.acl.lanl.gov/GrandChal/GCM/currents.htm l.