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Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)

By Amigos IAS

Why is it in the news?

  • Scientists have identified an ancient underwater mountain range concealed within the world’s most robust ocean current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC).
  • The discovery took place in the Southern Ocean, an expansive region comprising the southernmost waters below 60 degrees south latitude, encircling the entire Antarctic continent.
Southern Ocean: The Southern Ocean is a distinct body of water that surrounds Antarctica.

Antarctic Circumpolar Current (ACC)

  • The ACC is the only ocean current that flows entirely around the globe.
  • It encircles the Antarctic continent and flows eastward, traversing the southern portions of the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
  • The ACC is notable for its strength and the comprehensive reach of its influence across multiple ocean basins.
  • The current plays a crucial role in connecting and influencing the Southern Ocean ecosystem, impacting climate and ocean circulation patterns globally.


Ocean currents

·       Ocean currents are the continuous, predictable, directional movement of seawater. It is a massive movement of ocean water that is caused and influenced by various forces. They are like river flows in oceans.

·       Ocean water moves in two directions: horizontally and vertically.

·       Horizontal movements are referred to as currents, while vertical changes are called upwellings or downwellings.

·       Ocean currents impact humankind and the biosphere due to their influence on climate.

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