• A current is a stream of moving water that flows through the ocean.
  • Surface currents are created by three things: global wind patterns, Earth's rotation, and the shape of the ocean basins.
  • The major surface currents are pictured below.
  • They flow in a clockwise direction in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • In the Southern Hemisphere, they flow in the opposite direction.
  • These loops are called gyres.
  • Only the Antarctic Circumpolar Current flows nonstop around the globe.
  • Each summer in the United States, at least a few people die when they are caught in rip currents.
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