GFDL - Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

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Additional information about selected materials contained
in the NOAA GFDL educational video titled

Modeling Dynamic Surface
Ocean Currents

A tour of some interesting ocean currents as simulated
by the NOAA GFDL CM2.4 global climate model
[Modeling Dynamic Surface Ocean Current title screen image]

Click on the image above access one version of the .mov video.
(46 MB, 4:404 length, 640×360 video dimension version, annotated with closed captions)
Other versions available HERE.


  • return to the GFDL CCVP group’s Videos & Podcasts  page


NOAA GFDL’s CM2.4 Global Climate Model [0:32 of video]

In this video, ial resolution (i.e,. relatively small grid boxes) for a global climate model that is used to simulate several hundred years.

[Agulhas Rings from GFDL CM2.4 model Report]


The Ocean Around Southern Africa: [0:36 of video]

The NOAA GFDL CM2.4 global climate model simulates the Agulhas Current as it flows southwestward to the southern tip of Africa. There much ot the flow turns and flows eastward. The name given to where the current makes its dramatic turn is the Agulhas Retroflection. As seen in the model, as in the real world, the retroflection sheds rings – almost circular pools of rotating water – that transport relatively warm and salty Indian Ocean water northwestward into the Atlantic basin.

related links:


[Ben Franklin's chart of the Gulf Stream screen shot]

Ben Franklin’s Chart of the Gulf Stream [6:00 of video]

According to the information found on the NOAA Ocean Explorer web pages,
Ben Franklin had this map engraved and copies distributed for the
“benefit of navigators”.
Franklin’s directions advised ships sailing westward toward
the US coast to avoid the Gulf Stream, since its eastward flow would slow them
“at the rate of 60 or 70 miles per day”.
Franklin also noted that the eastward
Boston to England voyage could be shortened by taking advantage of
sailing within the eastward flowing Gulf Steam.