Hotspots push ocean currents off course

Ocean hotspots are pushing ocean currents beyond their usual boundaries. The hotspots are generated by wind systems, and occur on the eastern coasts of major continents, including Australia, leading to temperature increases in some areas. The hotspots could reduce the ocean’s ability to absorb carbon and heat from the atmosphere.

The Eastern Australian Current has moved more than 350 kilometres further south, leading to an average temperature increase of 2°C in Tasmania.

Intensifying east-west winds in Australia are pushing southward, with increases the gyre, or swirl of currents, which leads to current like the Eastern Australian being pushed beyond their known boundaries.

You can listen to an interview with the study’s author, Dr Wen Ju Cai here.

Read more at CSIRO