World ocean circulation experiment (WOCE) is a branch of the World Climate Research Program, formed with the aim of evaluating, and establishing the role of oceans in the climatic system on earth. The institution was formed in order to capture world ocean coverage adequately, especially in the southern hemisphere (McKibben, 2011). The scanty data that existed during summer and winter months also prompted the formation of the institution. The incomplete comparison of data collected from the study of ocean circulations led to the creation of WOCE for analysis of the data collected (Pastor, 2008).
Figure 1: WOCE Salinity Map of the Southern Ocean (Source: WOCE (http://woceatlas.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/maps1.py) Accessed on April 1st, 2014)
The ocean is the main controller of the global climate system and covers approximately about seventy-one percent of the earth’s surfaces. Main climatic elements describing the state of the oceans are density, temperature and density (Slaymaker, Spencer & Embleton-Hamann, 2009). Chemicals elements dissolved in the water, define the southern ocean salinity (Richardson, 2009). The abundant elements found in the ocean water include potassium, Calcium, Sulphate, Sodium, and magnesium (Gibbons, 2005; Glass, 2005; Maczulak, 2010). From the graphics, the vertical distribution of salinity reveals dominant features that include minimum and maximum salinity. Minimum salinity is showed by the presence of blue shadings and it extends from the high latitude surface ocean of the southern hemisphere. Maximum salinity exists in the deeper parts of the ocean and penetrates southwards to a depth of 1000-1300m. The black areas in the graphic represent dry land, whereas the colored ones are the water masses.
Figure 2: WOCE Temperature Map of the Southern Ocean (Source: WOCE (http://woceatlas.tamu.edu/cgi-bin/maps1.py) Accessed on April 1st, 2014)
Vertical temperature distribution along the meridional section of the southern ocean reveals that the coldest water in southern hemisphere is found close to the Antarctica continent. The temperature at the bottom of this water is at zero degrees Celsius. The freezing point of seawater is lower than that fresh water because of salinity. Warm temperature above 15 degrees Celsius is limited to 1100 m of the water column and is located in the tropical and subtropical regions.
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