We spend a lot of time in our Citizen Science day and biodiversity lectures speaking about oceanography and the Agulhas and Benguela currents. It is largely because of these two ocean currents that Cape Town sees such a rich diversity of marine and terrestrial life. There really aren’t many places in the world where you can experience a variety of habitats in such close proximity. A short tour of the Cape peninsula will bring you through forests, fynbos, proteas and renosterveld. Strictly speaking the ocean on both sides of the peninsular is the Atlantic, however a dive on either side will reveal their true differences.
A New Current
Scientists at the University of Cape Town and CSIR integrated remotely sensed satellite data with cruise data sets to identify a new ocean current that flows poleward along the southwest coast of Madagascar, dubbed the Southwest Madagascar Coastal Current (SMCC). The authors recently described their findings in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. The current is a relatively shallow and narrow current, flowing against the dominant winds of the region. Discovery of this current will lead to a greater understanding of the coupling of global ocean currents, and add to our understanding of the Agulhas current. Listen to supervisor Dr. Marjolaine Krug and PhD student Juliano Ramanantsoa describe their findings below.