Paul, something I've been interested in for a time -- but I don't have the physics or math skills to seriously pursue it -- is the idea of oceanic eddies as dissipators of energy, ultimately as heat. As you probably know, but for the benefit of readership, eddies in oceans break off of major currents and they can persist a long time, on the order of months, They also spin off subsidiary eddies. Such turbulent rings, on a much smaller scale, are created and exploited by many swimming creatures, such as fish and whales. Because they persist, they offer a volume of water such swimmers can push against. Indeed, the common observation of dolphins swimming along ships near their bows is their stealing energy from the ship to help propel them.
In the case of oceanic currents, given that the driving engine for transport equator-to-pole is heat transport, resulting in moving, I wonder how much of the big eddies to small eddies to smaller eddies to smallest eddies results in transfer of that same energy to locales, quite apart from conduction.