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Originally posted by darkelf
While oil may not wash up on every coastline in the world, I have to wonder what this is doing to marine life and how many species may be wiped out when this stuff hits the mating and spawning areas.
Oceanic Conveyor Belt
The conveyor belt system can be thought of as beginning near Greenland and Iceland in the North Atlantic where dry, cold winds blowing from northern Canada chill surface waters.
The combined chilling of surface waters, evaporation, and sea-ice formation produces cold, salty North Atlantic Deep Water (NADW). The newly formed NADW sinks and flows southward along the continental slope of North and South America toward Antarctica where the water mass then flows eastward around the Antarctic continent (in the Antarctic Circumpolar Current).
The resulting Common Water, also called Antarctic Circumpolar water, flows northward at depth into the three ocean basins (primarily the Pacific and Indian Oceans).