Ocean currents in the Australian region including the Tasman Outflow (blue) passing south of Tasmania towards the Indian Ocean.
Missing deep ocean pathway discovered
Australian scientists have discovered a massive deep ocean pathway – or ‘supergyre’ – that links the three Southern Hemisphere ocean basins and in this podcast Mr Ken Ridgway, from Wealth from Oceans Flagship, talks about the significance of the ‘supergyre’. (4:45)
15 August 2007 | Updated 23 November 2011
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It’s hoped the discovery of the supergyre can help scientists more accurately explain how the ocean governs global climate.
CSIRO scientists working in the Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship have confirmed the current sweeping out of the Tasman Sea past Tasmania and towards the South Atlantic is a previously undetected component of the world climate system’s engine-room – the thermohaline circulation or ‘global conveyor belt’.
The findings, published this month in Geophysical Research Letters, confirm that the waters south of Tasmania form a ‘choke-point’ linking the major circulation cells in the Southern Hemisphere oceans.
In this podcast, Wealth from Oceans Flagship scientist Mr Ken Ridgway explains how the supergyre may play an important role in the response of the conveyor belt to climate change.
Read more about Ocean ‘supergyre’ link to climate regulator (Media release 15 Aug 07).