Gulf Stream

OCEAN CURRENTS AFFECT not only the temperature, but also the precipitation on land areas adjacent to the ocean. A cold ocean current near land causes the air just above the water to be cold, while the air above is warm. There is very little opportunity for convection, thus denying moisture to nearby land. Coastal des erts of the world usually border cold ocean currents. Contrary to this, warm ocean currents, such as Gulf Stream, bring moisture to the adjacent land areas.

The Gulf Stream, together with its northern extension towards Europe, the North Atlantic Drift, is a powerful, warm, and swift Atlantic Ocean current that originates in the Gulf of Mexico, exits through the strait of Florida, and follows the eastern coastlines of the United States and Newfoundland (Canadian island) before crossing the Atlantic Ocean. It carries a huge amount of warm water to northerly lands, which has enormous significance to inhabitants of those areas; without it, northern Europe would be much colder and drier.

At about 30 degrees W, 40 degrees N, it splits into two, with the northern stream crossing northern Europe, and the southern stream (Canary Current)

recirculating off western Africa. The Gulf Stream influences the climate of the east coast of North America from Florida to Newfoundland, and the west coast of Europe. Warm water brought to Europe's shores raises the temperature by as much as 18 degrees F (10 degrees C) in some places.

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