Gyres Definition | Gyres Ocean | Subtropical Gyre & Subpolar Gyre
What are an Ocean Gyres?
Ocean Gyres are circular currents of water that form when wind and the Earth’s rotation create a pattern that pulls surface water away from the equator. Ocean Gyres are large, spinning vortexes of water that form in the ocean and are especially common near coastlines. They are circular currents that act to move water around different parts of the ocean.
The term gyre is used to describe a rotation that is in the same direction as the Earth’s spin. This is in contrast to anticyclones, which have a direction opposite to the earth’s spin. The word gyre originates from the Greek word for circle, “gyros.” In fact, if you were to look down on the earth from above the North Pole, these rotating currents would appear circular in shape.
The ocean’s currents are caused by the wind. Basically, because the world is a sphere of moving air, it causes an uneven distribution of mass across the world and, therefore, an uneven distribution of water.
Areas with more air (and water) tend to move faster than areas with less mass. This is because the force generated by a moving object increases as its speed increases and decreases as its speed decreases. This is why the motion of water is flowing can be explained by an asymmetrical force.
When there are two ocean areas with different densities, there will be a force felt by objects in the lighter-shifting water. This force is called the Coriolis effect, and it causes an object to move from that point due to its curvature. It also causes water to move in a direction perpendicular to this direction. This curvature is the reason that water tends to move in long, meandering patterns along coastlines furthest from the equator.
In areas of high wind and low air, there tends to be a focus of uneven mass and therefore an uneven force on the water. This causes large-scale currents to form in these areas. These areas are called ocean gyres; they are also called eddies by those who study them. The name ocean gyre originates from the early idea that the gyre’s water moved around a fixed point on the ocean floor, similar to Earth’s rotation.
What is a Subtropical Gyre?
A subtropical gyre is a large-scale ocean circulation pattern that occurs when the trade winds blow from the northeast and air rises in the southern hemisphere. This causes warm water to pool around the equator, which creates high-pressure zones and low-pressure zones.
The low-pressure zone moves north as it cools, while the high-pressure zone moves southward as it heats up. These two forces create an unending cycle of currents that are responsible for most of Earth’s major oceanic patterns.
A subtropical gyre moves clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The currents are caused by wind patterns over the Earth’s surface, which push water towards one side of an ocean basin. These currents can be seen on maps as spirals of warm water with cool water near their centers.
What is a Subpolar Gyre?
A Subpolar Gyre is a large, circular current of water in the Southern Ocean that flows clockwise around Antarctica. The gyres are created by the Antarctic Circumpolar Current, which originates from cold waters near Antarctica and then moves northward along the coastlines of Chile, Peru, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand.
These currents significantly impact global climate patterns because they transport heat away from Earth’s equator towards the poles.
Subpolar Gyre currents are driven by wind and the Coriolis effect, which pushes them away from the equator toward the poles. They form because cold polar water sinks while warm subtropical water rises due to density differences.
This creates a high-pressure zone at the surface that prevents winds from moving it away from its location.
The 5 Major Ocean Gyres
- The North Atlantic Gyre
- The North Pacific Ocean Gyre
- The Southern Atlantic Ocean
- The South Pacific Gyre
- The Indian Ocean Gyre
North Pacific Subtropical Gyre
The first one is the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre, which is bounded by Japan, Taiwan, and the east coast of China.
The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre is located between Japan, Taiwan, and the east coast of China. It is the only gyre in which water flow is clockwise.
North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre
The second one is the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre which is formed by a clockwise current in which immense quantities of water are transported from south to north.
The North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre is located between Iceland and Greenland and the southern tip of Greenland, an area which includes the Sea of Labrador.
The North Pacific Subtropical Gyre and the North Atlantic Subpolar Gyre form currents within which water circulates around in a clockwise direction. Increased flow in these gyres carries water into the ocean. The water lost from these currents is transported southward, creating the South Atlantic Subpolar Gyre and the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre.
South Atlantic Subpolar Gyre
The third one is the South Atlantic Subpolar Gyre which forms a clockwise current connecting Brazil and Argentina with Africa. The South Atlantic Subpolar Gyre is located around the west coast of Africa. This gyre is bounded by South Africa, Namibia, Angola, and Cape Verde.
South Pacific Subtropical Gyre
The fourth is the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre which is bounded by New Zealand and Australia as well as Argentina and Africa.
The South Pacific Subtropical Gyre, which includes New Zealand and Australia, is also involved in the process of atmospheric circulation. Besides, this gyre is heavily influenced by the wind which passes over it.
The South Atlantic Subpolar Gyre and the South Pacific Subtropical Gyre are both important in terms of atmospheric circulation, as they affect rainfall patterns around Africa and Australia. These gyres are also important factors in ocean circulation.
Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre
The fifth gyre in this article was originally known as the Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre. This gyre is bounded by the eastern coast of Africa, India, and Australia.
The Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre is one of the most important gyres in terms of atmospheric circulation, as it affects rainfall patterns around Africa and India. It is also an important factor in the circulation of the oceans.
The Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre transports tropical water from the Indian Ocean to southern Africa. This is done by creating a strong surface current in which warm water moves northward and cold water moves southward.
These five gyres are part of a dramatic system that has developed over thousands of years. The Earth’s spinning quickly turns the water toward these five gyres. This occurs because of how water moves as it spins around.
In conclusion, each of these five gyres has its own unique characteristics; however, water still circulates around the Earth in a clockwise direction. The water from these gyres is transported to other areas by wind and then eventually returns to where it came from.
What is the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
The great pacific garbage patch is a huge floating mass of plastic debris that has formed in one of the world’s major oceans. It was first in the location between California and Hawaii, hence “great. The patch is by far the largest accumulation of plastic pollution in the world.
Based on a study of ocean water samples, our team estimates it to be between 5,000 and 12,000 km2 with a volume of between 5.8 and 11 million cubic kilometers, about 20% of the water in the North Pacific Ocean 30% of all surface ocean plastic.
What are the characteristics of the patch?
It contains mostly small pieces of floating plastic debris that have been broken down in the ocean and is distributed over a huge area. The plastic soup is not a continuous, solid mass but looks more like a soupy solution with plastics of various sizes. There are also large floating objects such as fishing nets and containers. The patch also contains microplastics that are less than 5 mm in size.
How did it come to be?
There is a significant amount of plastic debris in the patch that originated from land-based activities, but the majority of plastic in the patch comes from the ocean. Ocean currents and wind patterns bring floating plastic debris from land-based sources into the patch.
The ocean currents create gyres (or rotating systems of ocean currents). Action within these can mix up large quantities of plastic debris originating from land, leading to a mass accumulation of pollution in the patch.
Are there more patches?
There are many more areas with significant amounts of plastic pollution in the world’s oceans.
What is the effect on marine life?
Most of the marine life in the patch eats plastic. Smaller fish eat microplastics, and larger fish ingest microplastics that are bigger than them. The large amounts of plastic ingestion by different marine species have led to myriad health problems for these animals, including liver damage and death (for example, by starvation) if they cannot digest it.
The plastic also accumulates toxins that are released when decomposed by the sun and as a result of interactions between the plastics and ocean water.
What is the impact on human health?
There is a possibility that plastics ingested by marine life may affect their own health and that of humans.
The Great Pacific Garbage Patch Size
The great pacific garbage patch size is approximately 1.6 million square miles and is approximately 3,000 nautical miles north of the coast of California.
It is three times the size of Texas and contains 94% plastic or less; 90% bottle caps; 12% fishing nets or ropes; 10% toys; 7% clothing; 6% car tires; 5 % packaging materials; 5% rope made from recycled plastics.
All these are carried by ocean currents from the North Pacific Ocean to Southeast Asia.
The great pacific garbage patch facts
The great pacific garbage patch facts that are receding away into the Pacific Ocean are causing trouble for many, but it is the fact that coral reefs are dying out. Corals are getting killed by the patch of algae that has started to grow very quickly, so quickly in fact that it is making dead coral disappear. This is because those who undertake scientific studies on this issue will continue to grow for years and years until all of these dead corals disappear with them.