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The English version of our glossary is currently under construction and will be regularly updated.

Subtropical gyre

Ring-shaped system of wind-driven ocean currents. Rotates clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.

Surface currents can join to form large, ring-shaped currents – the ocean gyres. The largest of these are the subtropical gyres: In the Pacific, the North Pacific Current, California Current and North Equatorial Current make up part of the North Pacific Subtropical Gyre. A fourth current, the fast-flowing Kuroshio Current near the coast of Japan, completes the circle. The Pacific and Atlantic are each home to two subtropical gyres: one north of and one south of the Equator. The Indian Ocean doesn’t extend as far to the north, and is only home to one gyre, south of the Equator.