“20000 Leagues Under the Sea” Part2 Ch07

Question 1: Are there indeed 2 currents into and out of the Mediterranean and into and out of the Atlantic?  What causes these currents?

Answer 1: On page 14 of Volume 11, “Provinces of the Sea” of the series “The Ocean World of Jacques Cousteau” by Jacques Cousteau, copyright 1975, published by the Danbury Press it states:

One classic example of a current controlled by salinity is the flow of deep water into the Atlantic from the Mediterranean.  As the surface water in the Mediterranean becomes more saline due to evaporation, it increase in density and sinks.  This sinking is balanced by an inflow of surface water from the Atlantic with lower density and lower salinity.  To complete the cycle, the deeper, more saline water exits to the Atlantic through the Straits of Gibraltar.  Because of the rapid inflow of surface water into the Mediterranean, almost four miles an hour, ancient sailing ships experienced considerable difficulty entering the Atlantic.  The Phoenicians discovered that by lowering weighted sails into the deeper outgoing waters, they would easily be carried against the incoming currents and out to the Atlantic.

Question 2: Why was the Mediterranean called “Mare Nostrum” by the Romans?

Question 3: Do dorades really live in all climates and waters?

Question 4: Has the earth’s interior perceptibly cooled in the last few centuries?  If so, has this reduced the incidence of volcanic activity?  Was the moon once volcanic like the earth?


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