The ocean and atmosphere currents are closely linked. Image courtesy of JMVerco/Flickr.
Coriolis Effect: occurs due to Earth's rotation; causes objects to move in a curved path rather than a straight line.
El Niño: a climate phenomenon that influneces sea surface temperatures and ocean currents
Gyres: ocean currents with nearly circular patterns of movement
Gulf Stream: makes up the western edge of the North Atlantic Gyre, it is a swift, warm current that travels along the east coast of the United States and across the North Atlantic Ocean.
Intertropical Convergence Zone: located where the northern and southern trade winds meet at the equator, characterized by stormy weather
Jet Streaks: fastest winds within a jet stream
Jet Streams: fastest winds which occur at high altitudes where pressure differences are greatest
Polar Easterlies: global wind system located near the poles, starting at 60º N and S latitudes and extending poleward.
Polar Front Jet Stream: a high-speed band of wind traveling at up to 400 kilometers per hour (249 miles per hour) that encircles Earth at altitudes of 10-15 kilometers (6-9 miles)
Prevailing Westerlies: global wind systems located in the northern and southern hemispheres in a zone between 30-60ºN and S latitude.
Subpolar Low: zone of low pressure located between the polar easterlies and prevailing westerlies
Subtropical High: high pressure zone associated with the trade winds at 30º N and 30º S latitude.
Trade Winds: global wind system located between 30º N and 30º S latitudes.
Last modified: Thursday, 9 December 2010, 12:32 PM