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Dr. Francisco Beron-Vera, University of Miami – Black Holes of the Sea

WAMC Northeast Public Radio

By Bradley Cornelius

In today’s Academic Minute, Dr. Francisco Beron-Vera discusses vortices that transport bodies of water around the globe.

Francisco Beron-Vera is a research associate professor in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami. He research interests include the transport and mixing processes in geophysical fluids as well as geophysical fluid dynamics and thermodynamics.

The ocean is filled with eddies, swirling water bodies that travel across basins. Some eddies can be very large, of over 150 kilometres in diameter, and play an important role in climate. An example are eddies shed from the Agulhas Current at the southern tip of Africa, which are believed to carry out the Indian-to-Atlantic-Ocean transport of warm and salty water. It is speculated that this transport, which is reportedly on the rise, can have a moderating effect on melting sea ice in a warming climate.

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