Did you know that the Pacific Ocean is home to many major ocean currents? Currents of the Pacific Ocean play a crucial role in regulating global climate patterns and keeping ocean waters in a constant state of circulation. Pacific Ocean currents help distribute heat around the planet, influence the temperature of coastal regions, redistribute nutrients, and give us insight into how the planet’s climate system is changing.
Currents of the Pacific Ocean even help fish and other mammals migrate, creating the pathways these creatures need as they feed, breed, and venture into new territory. If one of the whales you spot while on a cruise with Harbor Breeze could talk, it might tell you how much it appreciates Pacific Ocean currents! That said, let’s “dive” into greater detail about five different currents of the Pacific Ocean:
- California Current: The California Current originates from the flow of oceanic water along the California coastline, and it moves in a southward direction. The California Current brings cold, nutrient-rich waters from higher latitudes to the coastal areas of the state. The cold water not only helps moderate the temperature of the coastal waters but also transports moisture from the ocean to the land, supporting the growth of forests and other vegetation.
- Equatorial Currents: The Pacific Ocean features eastward-flowing equatorial currents near the equator. These currents—the North Equatorial Current and the South Equatorial Current—help redistribute warm water from the western Pacific towards the central and eastern Pacific. Both of these warm currents play a role in the development of El Niño and La Niña events.
- Kuroshio Current: The Kuroshio Current, or Japan Current, is a warm oceanic current that moves northward along the eastern coast of Asia. It emerges from the Philippine Sea, carrying tropical warmth towards higher latitudes and influencing the climate in areas in and around Japan. This current’s dynamic movement and river-like behavior contribute to its nickname: “Black Stream.”
- North Pacific Current: Flowing in an eastern direction along the northern periphery of the Pacific Ocean, the North Pacific Current carries moderately warm water from the western Pacific toward the shores of North America. Its influence contributes to the mild climate along the western coast of the United States and Canada.
- Peru Current: The Peru Current, or Humboldt Current, flows northward along the western coast of South America. One of the most fascinating aspects of the Peru Current is its connection to some of the world’s most productive fishing grounds; this cold oceanic current brings nutrient-rich waters up from the depths of the ocean to the surface through a process known as upwelling. Upwelling areas attract large populations of fish due to the increased availability of nutrients.
Take a Cruise on the Pacific Ocean With Us!
At Harbor Breeze Cruises, we have the great privilege of taking our customers onto the
waters of the Pacific Ocean—the largest and deepest ocean on earth! Our year-round whale-watching excursions give individuals, groups, and families the opportunity to appreciate nature and better understand what makes the Pacific Ocean such a diverse ecosystem that is as vast as it is majestic.
We hope you’ll consider joining us on a cruise so you can sit back, relax, and maybe even start a conversation with one of our friendly and enthusiastic Aquarium of the Pacific educators about Pacific Ocean currents. We’re always eager to educate our guests about the ocean and marine life; doing so helps people gain a sense of responsibility and stewardship for the oceans, including the great Pacific.
If you’re interested in booking a cruise with us, please give us a call at 562-983-6880 or book your cruise online. We’d be thrilled to welcome you and yours aboard one of our comfortable catamarans so you can experience the joys of the Pacific Ocean—currents and all!