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Salty Ocean Circulation
The earth’s climate produces large scales difference in temperature and salinity in the oceans.Water circulation patterns in the ocean are driven by temperature and salinity differences, which translate to water density differences. Water density decreases when the water molecules move apart due to increases in temperature. Water density increases when salt molecules take up places between water molecules.
As the salt concentration in surface waters changes, the density of the water changes. Fresh water is less dense than salt water and floats on the surface. In warmer, fresher waters, the density is low.
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