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Education: Student Outcomes

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Outcome: Describe how changes in the ocean's circulation can produce large changes in climate.
Grade level: 9-12
Theme: climate

Part II: Exploring Global Ocean Currents. We know that conditions experienced in the Arctic and Antarctic are quite different from those experienced where most people live. This activity allows students to look for connections between these two diverse regions located thousands of kilometers apart through the conduct of experiments designed to explore the connections between three major Earth systems: the atmosphere, the hydrosphere and the cryosphere.

Part III: Ocean Currents and Coastal Climates. Do ocean currents affect coastal climates? Resources provided with this activity enable students to access climatic data for two communities: St. Mawgan, England, and Daniels Harbour, Newfoundland, Canada. Both communities are located near 50°N latitude. St. Mawgan is situated on the southwestern coast of England along the eastern shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Daniels Harbour is located in Newfoundland near the western shores of the Atlantic Ocean. Students will collect, process, and analyze climate data to answer questions on temperature patterns, prevailing winds, and the Gulf Stream.
Grade level: 9-12
Theme: climate

The purpose of this activity is to discover the link between ocean temperatures and currents as related to our concern for current climate change.

After completing this activity, students will:
Know how differential heating of Earth results in circulation patterns in the atmosphere and oceans that globally distribute the heat.
Know the relationship between the rotation of Earth and the circular motions of ocean currents and air in pressure centers.
Make predictions by linking current scientific satellite data to concerns about global climate change.