A global water circulation system driven by water temperature and salt-density that distributes water between the Earth’s oceans. Warmer water closer to the ocean’s surface travels from the northern Pacific Ocean, south through the Indian Ocean (where it is joined by more warm water), around the southern tip of Africa, and up to the northern Atlantic Ocean. At this point, the water cools and sinks toward the bottom of the ocean and travels back via the same path. The thermohaline conveyor is repsonsibile for bringing warmer, more temperate climate to most of Europe and has a profound effect on global climate.
In the past, when this system has slowed or stopped, the results were ice ages throughout Europe. Concern is rising that global climate change is again slowing this conveyor system and endangering ecosystems and economies in the EU.
Also called thermohaline circulation