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45-Ocean-Currents

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					                                                  Oceans Currents and Climate

Warm Up:
There is a constant flow of water and air around the Earth that distributes heat.
Without this heat distribution, the difference between polar climates and equatorial climates
would be _________________                          __________________________ _ .

There are two kinds of ocean currents that distribute this heat
      1) ______________________ currents that are driven by __________________________


          2) ______________________ currents which are driven by ________________________



Activity A – Deep Ocean Currents




                                                                                Antarctica

                                                                                         3.
Fill a plastic container with tap water. Gently place a
colored ice cube on one side of the container and
observe how the cold water moves as it melts from
the ice cube. Draw a picture of the water’s
movement in the box to the right.


4. If the ice cube in the demonstration represents Antarctica, which arrows represent the cold
sinking colored water in the graphic above? Write a “C” on them (hint… there are 3).

5. Which arrows represent warm water currents? Write an “H” on them (hint… they originate
around the equator).
A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   1
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
6. Write three sentences explaining how convection is responsible for this movement of massive
volumes of water around the Earth. (Hint: Include in your explanation what the sun’s role is.)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
Activity B – Surface Currents

     Gulf
     Stream

                                                N.                                                    Asia
                                                America
                                                                              Africa
                                                           S.
                                                           America




                                                                                         Antarctica


Ocean surface currents that are blown from the poles are cooler and those blown from the
tropics are warmer.

7. Make a prediction about which currents are warm (color them red) and which are cold (color
them blue) on the map of surface currents above. We will check your answers as a class.

Cold currents cause land nearby to be cooler and warm ocean currents cause nearby
land to be warmer. Based on the surface current map, explain if the following regions are
cooler or warmer than other regions at the same latitude.
   8. West Coast of the United States _____________________
     9. East Coast of the United States _____________________
     10. Europe _____________________
     11. East Coast of Asia _____________________
     12. West Coast of South America _____________________
     13. East Coast of South America _____________________
A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   2
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
Some scientists believe that the last ice age may have been associated with a slowing down of
some of the ocean currents that bring warm water northward. Scientists speculate that an influx
of fresh water from melting polar ice caps may once again slow the coarse of such important
“conveyor belts” of heat.

14. What would be the impact to Europe’s climate if the Gulf Stream stopped flowing? Explain.
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
15. You have already studied Hadley Cells (Convection currents in the atmosphere that cause
prevailing winds). What similarities can you see between the surface currents (map on left) and
the prevailing winds (map on right)?
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________




16. Write three sentences describing how convection is responsible for ocean surface currents
(hint… mention what causes wind in your discussion as well as what the sun’s role is.)
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________
_______________________________________________

A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   3
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
                                                   Oceans Currents and Climate
                                       There is a constant flow of water and air around the Earth that
                                      distributes heat. Without this heat distribution, the difference between
                                        polar climates and equatorial climates would be much more extreme.


There are two kinds of ocean currents that distribute this heat
      1) deep ocean currents that are driven by convection/ice melting from Antarctica.
       2) surface currents which are driven by prevailing winds/convection in the atmosphere.




                                                                                Antarctica

                                                Activity A – Deep Ocean Currents


    Fill a plastic container with tap water.
    Gently place a colored ice cube on one
    side of the container and observe how the
    cold water moves as it melts from the ice
    cube. Draw a picture of the water’s
    movement in the box to the right.




If the ice cube in the demonstration represents Antarctica, which arrows represent the cold
sinking colored water in the graphic above? Write a “C” on them (hint… there are 3).

Which arrows represent warm water currents? Write an “H” on them (hint… they originate
around the equator).

Write three sentences explaining how convection is responsible for this movement of massive
volumes of water around the Earth. (Hint: Include in your explanation what the sun’s role is.)
A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   4
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________




     Gulf
     Stream

                                                N.                                                    Asia
                                                America
                                                                              Africa
                                                           S.
                                                           America




                                                                                         Antarctica


                                                    Activity B – Surface Currents

Ocean surface currents that are blown from the poles are cooler and those blown from the
tropics are warmer. (teacher:demo of wind over hoy vs cold water)

Make a prediction about which currents are warm (color them red) and which are cold (color
them blue) on the map of surface currents above. We will check your answers as a class.

Cold currents cause land nearby to be cooler and warm ocean currents cause nearby
land to be warmer. Based on the surface current map, explain if the following regions are
cooler or warmer than other regions at the same latitude.
   14. West Coast of the United States _____________________
   15. East Coast of the United States _____________________
   16. Europe _____________________
   17. East Coast of Asia _____________________
   18. West Coast of South America _____________________
   19. East Coast of South America _____________________

Some scientists believe that the last ice age may have been associated with a slowing down of
some of the ocean currents that bring warm water northward. Scientists speculate that an influx

A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   5
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
of fresh water from melting polar ice caps may once again slow the coarse of such important
“conveyor belts” of heat.

13. What would be the impact to Europe’s climate if the Gulf Stream stopped flowing? Explain
below.
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________

You have already studied Hadley Cells (Convection currents in the atmosphere that cause
prevailing winds). What similarities can you see between the surface currents (map on left) and
the prevailing winds (map on right)?

_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________




Write three sentences describing how convection is responsible for ocean surface currents (hint…
you need to mention what causes wind in your discussion as well as what the sun’s role is.)

_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________

Ocean’s role
Oceans influence weather systems (local and short term) and climate (regional and long term)
   because the temperature of the water affects the temperature of the air above it (then the
     air moves around heating up or cooling off the land nearby).

A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   6
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf
        because water is harder to heat up and cool off than land (So Marine Climates - land near
         the sea - tend to be milder, not getting as hot or cold as inland climates).
        because ocean currents distribute heat and cold around the Earth, thus making climates
         less extreme at the poles and equator. There are two types of currents
             o Surface: Convection in the atmosphere causes wind to blow the surface of the
                water around the earth.
             o Deep: Convection moves around large volumes of water deep below the ocean’s
                surface




A. Hoyle 2010, Picture of ocean currents obtained Sept 3, 2007 from Steven Dutch, Natural and Applied Sciences, University of Wisconsin - Green Bay,   7
http://www.uwgb.edu/dutchs/EnvSC102Notes/102HowEarthWorks.HTM, Pictures of world climates taken Sept 3, 2007 from World Climates,
http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/climate.htm, Portions of lesson plan modified from Climate and Currents, UCLA, obtained Sept. 11, 2007
http://www.msc.ucla.edu/oceanglobe/pdf/climatecurents/currentsentire.pdf

				
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