noun[mass noun] Oceanography
The movement of seawater in a pattern of flow dependent on variations in temperature, which give rise to changes in salt content and hence in density.
- A collapse of the west Antarctic ice sheet (which would raise global sea levels by several tens of metres) might shut down the Atlantic thermohaline circulation, including the Gulf Stream, that warms western Europe.
- The thermohaline circulation is driven by differences in seawater density, caused by temperature and salinity.
- This cyclic flow of water initiated by the cooling of surface sea water in the polar regions is known as thermohaline circulation, and is the principal example of a process called advection.
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