How does the Gulf Stream effect climate?

Expert Answers
dano7744 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The gulfstream is a surface current in the Atlantic ocean that flows northward along the east coast of the U.S. Surface currents are set in motion by the winds. This movement of water in turn effects the circulation in the atmosphere. There is a net gain of energy in lower latitudes and a net loss of energy at higher altitudes. The changes in energy levels play a role in the transfer of heat and cold. The temperature changes influence things like humidity, which in turn, influence events like precipitation. This changes water table levels,lakes, ponds, and streams which also influence moisture and cloud cover. Energy from the sun is diminished by this cloud cover and moisture.

krishna-agrawala | Student

Gulf Stream is a major ocean current in the North Atlantic Ocean.  It forms the northwestern edge of a large, clockwise system of currents in the this Ocean. It forms in the western Caribbean Sea and flows through the Gulf of Mexico and the Straits of Florida, then moving along the east coast of the United States to Cape Hatteras in North Carolina. Then  it turns northeast.

The Gulf Stream has an important effect on climate, transportation by sea, and the circulation of nutrients and wastes in the ocean.   The Gulf Stream, which gets warmed up the hot Caribbean climate is 6 to 10 Celsius degrees warmer than the surrounding water.  In turn the westerly winds blowing toward Europe are warmed as they cross the Gulf Stream.  As a result, British Isles and Norway have milder winters than other regions.

The swift flow of the Gulf Stream aide  sea transportation., helping ships sailing from the Panama Canal to New York City to get a boost from its current.

Another important effect of the Gulf Stream is that circulation of water along the east coast of the United States helps scatter and dilute the pollutants released by cities and industries into the ocean in that area, The current also promotes the growth of aquatic organism by bringing nutrients from the ocean floor to the surface, These organisms, in turn promote growth of various kinds of fish by providing them with food.