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why is the sea salty

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dusty1 | 23:46 Sun 25th Feb 2007 | Science
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Why ithe sea salty, are the ice burgs salty as well, or are they not, and if not with them all melting at the moment, will the sea become less salty ?


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Salt is readily dissolved and remains suspended in water. When it rains, salts are dissolved and suspended and carried down to the oceans in rivers. When ocean water evaporates to make more rain the salts are not evaporated with the water and so remain concentrated in the oceans.

Why Ocean water is salty?

More than 97% of the Earth�s water is already in the oceans. Less than two percent of all of the Earth�s water is frozen in the form of glaciers or snow. If all the water trapped in glaciers were released into the oceans (glaciers melted) sea levels could rise 200 feet or more but in relation to the amount of water already present in the oceans this would not greatly alter it�s overall salinity.

water cycle
Although overall there would be only a minute change to saliniy, mixing will not take place immediately and locally there will definitely be some significant reduction in salinity. In particular, scientists are concerned that the less dense cold seawater off Greenland will stop sinking or sink more slowly. This sinking drives the North Atlantic Conveyer - part of a giant convection cycle that draws the warm Gulfstream and North Atlantic Drift towards nortern Europe. Global warming could therefore make the UK end up much colder than at present.

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