Ocean currents are ocean water that never stop moving. They are constantly on the move creating big impacts to the world. They carry out their natural functions to help shape how the Earth works. Ocean currents can bring useful changes but they can also cause big disasters. To know what ocean currents can do, read these 25 Function of Ocean Currents. See how these currents greatly impact your life.
1. Changing Weather
The weather can be affected by the ocean currents. They can determine how windy the day is going to be. Also, they can bring in more or less rain into certain areas of the world. Every hour, our weather is shaped by the currents that are flowing through the oceans.
2. Affect Climate
Ocean currents greatly impact the overall climate in certain regions of the world. They are a part of the Thermohaline circulation. It is the biggest ocean circulation that constantly moves all over the oceans in the world. They bring huge impacts on the climate that we have today.
3. Storm Formation
Winds are the main factor in many ocean storm formation. However, ocean currents play their role too. They can make the storms become weaker or stronger. It all depends on where the storm is passing through. Strong ocean currents can make storms more powerful as they hit lands.
4. Stop Ice Forming along the Shorelines
Ice can form along the coastlines or the shorelines. They can kill of marine creatures, disrupt human activities and also hinder important shipping schedule. Ocean currents can prevent ice formation in these places. They regulate the temperature of the air around us.
5. Maintaining Temperature
Temperature is very important to both the ocean ecosystem and our own environment. The right temperature can keep creatures alive. On the other hand, any slight alteration to the temperature can cause chaos. Ocean currents can maintain the world’s temperature by constantly rotating cool and warm air to regions.
6. Rotate Ocean Nutrients
Ocean currents can help in rotating ocean nutrients. Upwelling is a current that can cause surface nutrients to go to the deeper parts of the water. In exchange, the deep water rises to the surface. This causes the marine animals living on the surface and those that live in deep waters to receive fair amount of nutrients.
7. Keep Fish Alive
Fish are kept alive by ocean currents. They help in bringing more phytoplankton. The phytoplankton are distributed to every part of the ocean. Thus, the fish can feed on those phytoplankton. They also attract more fish to come to that specific ocean region because of all the food.
8. Absorb Excess Heat in the Air
Every day, humans release excess heat in the air. This is done through all the harmful gas that comes from our vehicles, factories or home appliances. The heat can be dangerous because they speed up global warming and worsen the greenhouse effect. Thankfully, the ocean currents can absorb most of the heat in the air. As they circulate, they take in the heat around the air.
9. Creating Renewable Energy
There is great potential of renewable energy in ocean currents. Renewable energy is important because eventually, the world will run out of fossil fuels. Another great side from the energy is that it is greener, meaning that it doesn’t release any harmful gas or waste into the world such as carbon dioxide. It could help in slowing down the process of global warming.
10. Provide Livelihood
Ocean currents can provide livelihood for people who live on islands or along the coastlines. As they contribute to renewable energy, they also give people a chance to live a better life. Through thermal energy conversion, people are able to function and have a habitable environment. They provide drinkable water for the people, power for electricity and many more.
11. Determine Shipping Route
Ships can determine their route based on ocean currents. By knowing what currents are going on in the ocean, they can pick the best route that suits them. Currents can help ships to reduce their shipping costs. They enable ship to save fuel by helping them move along the ocean water, especially when the currents are strong.
12. Transporting Sediment
Ocean currents can transport sediment. These sediment can be from the sea floor that float along the water. The sediment can end up in most coastlines and beaches. They contribute to the way beaches are made. In return, they can also take away some sand from the beaches back to the ocean.
13. Shaping Lands
The lands all around the world are shaped by waves and the currents of the oceans. They erode soils or even bring some back to the land. Each year, the shape of the lands are always changing. These changes are important in determining the condition in future time.
14. Studying Marine Debris
The currents in the ocean can help researchers and scientists study about the marine debris. Marine debris are waste products created by humans and the environment. They can include plastic waste or drifting woods. Ocean currents carry these debris all over the ocean’s worlds.
15. Transporting Plankton
Ocean currents are important in transporting plankton. Some ocean regions do not receive a lot of planktons. They are important ocean vegetation that most marine creatures need in their diet. The ocean currents help in bringing the plankton to where they are also needed.
Here are some more functions of ocean currents.
- Migration of Marine Creatures: Help them migrate while maturing.
- Bring in Rain: Affect rain frequency in certain regions.
- Make Habitable Region: Europe would be too cold without ocean currents.
- Carry Floating Creatures: Some can’t swim like the foram.
- Prevent Ocean Freezing: From the heat distribution.
- Beach Erosion: Currents can take away sand from beaches.
- Formulate Conservations: Help in planning conservations for marine ecosystem.
- Distribute Salt: Help maintain salinity of ocean water.
- Create Suitable Environment: Marine creatures need specific conditions to live.
- Keep Corals Alive: Currents give them the nutrients they need.
Ocean currents are powerful enough to bring great changes in the world. Without them, humans and the entire world will not be able to live in a suitable environment.