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Can Geoengineering Sustain Critical Ocean Currents?

  • Peter C. FlynnEmail author
  • Jason Songjian Zhou
Chapter
Part of the Environmental Science and Engineering book series (ESE)

Introduction

The oceans play a major role in climate through many mechanisms. Two critical roles are the storage of carbon, with transfer of carbon dioxide from atmosphere to ocean, and the transport of heat through ocean currents. Any consideration of a response to climate change through global warming from the buildup of greenhouse gases (GHGs) must examine both of these roles. The structure of the ocean and the mechanisms of key ocean currents are critical to both processes.

The Structure of the Ocean

The ocean can be thought of as two independent components, the shallow and deep ocean, that have very limited circulation between them. The barrier to mixing between the two is the pycnocline, a sharp change in density associated with a change in temperature: the deep ocean is colder and denser that most shallow ocean water. Figure  1 shows a typical profile for both temperature and density.

Keywords

Deep Ocean Gulf Stream Cool Tower Thermohaline Circulation North Atlantic Deep Water 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada
  2. 2.WeatherfordEdmontonCanada

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