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Eddies in the Southern Ocean

Eddies in the Southern Ocean

The cloud cover over the Southern Ocean occasionally parts as it did on January 1, 2015 just west of the Drake Passage where VIIRS glimpsed the above collection of ocean-color delineated eddies which have diameters ranging from a couple of kilometers to a couple of hundred kilometers. Recent studies indicate that eddy activity has been increasing in the Southern Ocean with possible implications for climate change.

Click on the above image for a larger view. A 6-megabyte version is also available.