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Distribution of major ocean currents and their effects


Name of the current


South Atlantic Ocean

Benguela Current [Cold]  

Northward flowing ocean current that leads to foggy conditions along the coast of Namibia. Helped in the development of Namibian & Kalahari deserts  

North Atlantic Ocean

Canaries [Cold]  

Influences the extension of Sahara Desert 

Gulf Stream [Warm]  

Originating at the tip of Florida, it flows northeastward off the North American coast. The Gulf Stream on the confluence with the Labrador current produces heavy fog along the coast of Newfoundland that obstructs the navigation. Hence, Newfoundland is one of the major fishing grounds of the world.  

North Atlantic Drift [Warm]  

It is also known as North Atlantic Current. It keeps the ports at higher latitudes ice-free throughout the year. Eg. Port of Rorvik (Norway), Murmansk and Severodvinsk (Russia)  

Labrador [Cold]  

On confluence with Gulf Stream, it creates a fog that hinders navigation.  

South  Pacific Ocean

Peruvian / Humboldt 

Current [Cold] 

It is one of the causes for the formation of the Atacama desert. Change in the nature of Peruvian current is also associated to the formation of “ELNINO”.  

North  Pacific Ocean

Kuroshio Current [Warm]  

It plays a vital role in carrying a large amount of heat to the adjacent land areas and forms cloud cover that causes rainfall.  

Oyashio / Kurile Current [Cold]  

Its confluence with the Kuroshio current produces heavy fogs around Hokkaido, which become potential hazards for navigation. Hence, Hokkaido acts as the major fishing ground of the world.  

Alaska Current [Warm]  

Keeps the seaports of Alaska open throughout the year.  


California Current [Cold]  

Leads to foggy conditions along the coast of California. It is one of the reasons for the formation of Arizona & Sonata deserts.  

Indian  Ocean


West Australian Current [Cold]  

Leads to foggy conditions along the western coast of Australia. It helped in the genesis of the West Australian desert.