A major player in the climate
24000 kms / 15000 mi long and 1000 kms / 620 mi wide, it is the most powerful current on the planet. Driven by legendary winds - the famous "furious fifties" - nothing stops its great swell around Antarctica. The biological activity there is intense; it is a vast sanctuary for seabirds and marine mammals.
A major player in the climate :
. Its cold waters absorb a significant portion of the carbon dioxide emitted by human activities.
. Just like a drive belt, it connects the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans, to the cold waters of the cold waters of the Antarctic ocean.
. It helps insulate the cold of Antarctica from the mid latitudes heat fluxes.
. It is the main source of the World Ocean deep water formation. The freeze and thaw periods around Antarctica feed the formation of deep water.