Expedition to measure world’s largest current

Date: 1/4/2007

A trans-Tasman team of scientists has set out to discover how much water flows south of New Zealand as part of the world’s largest current, the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. A spokesman for the National Institute of Water & Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said it believed this current is 110–150 times larger than all the water flowing in all the rivers of the world. ‘In terms of the world’s oceans, New Zealand is not a tiny backwater but right there beside the motorway. The Antarctic Circumpolar Current travels clockwise around Antarctica. It is a vital link in the global ocean conveyor, connecting the waters of the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. The aim is to pin down how large the flow is past New Zealand. This is important for understanding, and predicting how this current affects the climate around New Zealand and in the Southwest Pacific’.

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