What do gyres do?

In oceanography , a gyre (/ˈdʒaɪər/) is any large system of circulating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity along with horizontal and vertical friction, determine the circulation patterns from the wind stress curl (torque).

Why are there ocean gyres?

Ocean gyres are caused by two different forces acting on the water: the wind and the Coriolis effect. Earth’s wind patterns grab the ocean water and push it forward, however, these wind patterns are deflected by the earth’s rotation (the Coriolis effect) causing both the winds and the water they are pushing to swirl around in a circular pattern.

How do gyres form?

Gyres are formed in the ocean by the Earth’s rotation, as well as worldwide wind patterns. These currents are responsible for redistributing heat and cooling throughout the oceans, as well as breaking up salinity concentration and ensuring nutrient distribution.

Why are ocean gyres important?

Gyres are an essential part of the Earth’s ecosystem. These currents ensure nutrients and salinity are kept moving equally throughout the oceans. Nutrient distribution is important to feeding the ocean’s teeming masses of life.