Sea surface temperature simulation from US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa)
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Agulhas current 'leakage' could affect Europe's climate

Scientists are flagging up something that could affect Europe's climate in years to come: the Agulhas Leakage.

The Agulhas current flows along the east coast of Africa, bringing warm water southwards - as illustrated in this climate model from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa).

Around the southern tip of Africa, eddies and whirls form, some of which take warm water into the Atlantic; this is the Agulhas Leakage.

Writing in the journal Nature, researchers say the effect this has on currents further north in the Atlantic has been underestimated, and may keep Europe warm even if the Gulf Stream weakens.

  • 27 Apr 2011
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