Huge current discovered in Southern Ocean
Scientists say the discovery of a deep ocean current in the Southern Ocean could provide new insights into climate change.
Australian and Japanese scientists found the current using measuring devices anchored to the ocean floor about 4,200 kilometres south-west of Perth.
Dr Steve Rintoul from the CSIRO in Hobart says the current is flowing about three kilometres below the surface and carries 40 times as much water as the Amazon River.
“It’s a larger part of the deep ocean current system than we expected,” he said.
Ocean currents help regulate the Earth’s climate by storing and transporting heat and carbon dioxide.
Dr Rintoul says the discovery will help ongoing studies of climate change.
“We’re seeing signals of change, we’re seeing the water is fresher than it used to be,” he said.
The scientists plan to return to the region next summer.