Biomes and Currents of the World  (centered on the Americas)

  Currents of the World  

[See map without currents of the world]

Biomes and Major Surface Currents of the World


Biomes are classified mainly by climate and vegetation (or the lack of it).  Very seldom are ecosystems or biomes separated by a definite line.  This map is produced by interpreting "greenness" from an aerial photo composite of the world and elevation map.  There is not a globally accepted way to classify biomes or to draw their boundaries.  Do a web research and you will see a variety of different maps.  

Surface Currents

Currents are very important to the ecology of the Earth.  The most famous example is the mild Scandinavian climate, which is a result of the Gulf Stream.  A change in the surface current, such as the case of El Niņo and La Niņa, will alter the weather in many places of the Earth.  "Surface currents" refer to the predominate flow of water in the top several tens of meters of the ocean.  In the Arctic Ocean, currents exist just underneath the ice even though the most surface is often frozen.

Surface currents are largely due to the prevailing winds blowing on the ocean.  In South Asia, the monsoon climate means that the wind reverses direction twice a year.  The dry season winds and the wet season winds are in exact opposite directions so currents in the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal are counterclockwise in summers and clockwise in winters.  The exact mechanism is quite complex.