The Agulhas Current is an ocean current in the southwest Indian Ocean. It flows along the east coast of Africa to the south ( about 27 ° S to 40 ° S ) and transported it enormous amounts of heat and salt to the south.
The sources of Agulhasstromes are the Ostmadagaskarstrom, the Mosambikstrom as well as parts of the recirculating water, which is part of the Agulhas Current itself. The Agulhas Current is strongly dependent on the topography, especially north of Port Elizabeth (South Africa), it flows along the continental slope closely. The transport of Agulhasstromes fully formed is about 65-70 million m³ / s = 65-70 Sverdrup. However, this is controversial in the primary science.
To the south of Cape Agulhas ( the southern tip of the African continent ), he penetrates to some 100 km into the Atlantic before he takes an abrupt U-turn and as Agulhasrückstrom flows back into the Indian Ocean. On the coast, he reaches Cape of Good Hope. The physics of these retroflexion is not fully investigated, probable causes, however, are in the bottom topography to search the coastline of Africa and especially the Vorticitybalance of the current ( in conjunction with the wind field).
The retroflexion is not complete and the amount of air flowing into the Atlantic warm and salty waters took due to the global warming in recent decades. A study conducted by the University of Miami study examined the effects of a further increase in feed stream with the help of climate simulations; it appeared that this would be strengthened thermohaline circulation. While publish AR4 of the IPCC was assumed in 2007 that global warming is due to increased melt water influx mitigate the warming in Europe, the opposite could happen by the described process. Instead of the Nordhalbkughel cooling weakening of the thermohaline circulation thus a warming would take place that would be superimposed on the global warming trend and reinforce this.
On the forms of the Agulhas Current retroflexion - at a distance of about 2-3 months - Agulhas Rings, the hike in the South Atlantic, where the mean flow ( the South Equatorial Current ) carried to the northwest ( advected ). Agulhas Rings transport the warm and salt-rich waters of the Indian Ocean to the north and form a part of the global thermohaline circulation. Agulhas Rings are among the most powerful eddies in the world ocean.