In order to fully understand global warming, it is necessary to understand the world's ocean currents, where they are, how they work, how they interact with the atmosphere, how they influence climate on land, and how they interact with the Earth's heat budget. This chapter will examine the basic principles of ocean circulation and the roles of seawater density, temperature, and salinity. It will then discuss specific ocean phenomena such as the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO), and the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt. Finally, it will explain what the potential long-term consequences could be if these delicate balances are upset.
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