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 Scientists confirm existence of a previously unknown current

A decade into the 21st century, scientists have confirmed the existence of a new and apparently crucial ocean current on the face of the Earth. International teams led by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) oceanographer Bob Pickart verified the previously unknown current near Iceland in 2008 and returned in 2010 to determine how it is formed.
The current, called the North Icelandic Jet, is not merely a curiosity. Though relatively narrow, it is an important cog in the global oceanic conveyor of currents that transports equatorial heat to the North Atlantic region and tempers its climate. Learning how the current operates offers insights into potential monkey wrenches that could disrupt ocean circulation and lead to further climate changes.

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Newly Discovered Icelandic Current Could Change North Atlantic Climate Picture

An international team of researchers, including physical oceanographers from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), has confirmed the presence of a deep-reaching ocean circulation system off Iceland that could significantly influence the ocean's response to climate change in previously unforeseen ways.
The current, called the North Icelandic Jet (NIJ), contributes to a key component of the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), also known as the "great ocean conveyor belt," which is critically important for regulating Earth's climate. As part of the planet's reciprocal relationship between ocean circulation and climate, this conveyor belt transports warm surface water to high latitudes where the water warms the air, then cools, sinks, and returns towards the equator as a deep flow.
Crucial to this warm-to-cold oceanographic choreography is the Denmark Strait Overflow Water (DSOW), the largest of the deep, overflow plumes that feed the lower limb of the conveyor belt and return the dense water south through gaps in the Greenland-Scotland Ridge.

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