Sargasso Sea

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The Sargasso Sea near Bermuda is warmer, saltier and more acidic than it has ever been since measurements began in 1954 — and the impact of such significant changes could be far reaching, researchers have warned.

About Sargasso Sea

  • The Sargasso Sea, located entirely within the Atlantic Ocean, is the only sea without a land boundary.
  • It is named for Sargassum, a holopelagic, golden drift algae that can aggregate to form extensive floating mats on the surface of the ocean.
  • This extraordinary open-ocean ecosystem is bounded by currents circulating around the North Atlantic sub-tropical gyre and is unique for supporting the center of distribution and abundance for a community of continuously pelagic drift algae.
  • It provides habitats, spawning areas, migration pathways and feeding grounds to a diverse assortment of flora and fauna, including endemic, endangered, and commercially important species. 
  • The Gulf Stream establishes the Sargasso Sea's western boundary, while the Sea is further defined to the north by the North Atlantic Current, to the east by the Canary Current, and to the south by the North Atlantic Equatorial Current.

Key facts about Gulf Stream

  • It is a swift and warm ocean current that flows along the eastern coast of North America and crosses the Atlantic Ocean towards Europe.
  • It originates in the Gulf of Mexico and is primarily formed by the convergence of warm waters from the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico. It then travels northward along the eastern coast of the United States.
  • It follows a north-eastward path across the western North Atlantic Ocean.
  • The current carries warm water from the tropics (around 25 to 28°C or 77 to 82°F) to higher latitudes.
  • It is several hundred kilometres wide and can flow at an average speed of about 2.5 meters per second. However, its speed can vary depending on the location and other factors.

Q1) What is a gyre?

A gyre is a large system of rotating ocean currents. There are five major gyres: the North and South Pacific Subtropical Gyres, the North and South Atlantic Subtropical Gyres, and the Indian Ocean Subtropical Gyre.

Source: Sargasso Sea around Bermuda is now at its hottest, most acidic and oxygen-starved than at any point in recorded history