Lesson C5 - Marine currents and climate regulation (advanced students)
The students carry out two experiments to determine how differences in the density of seawater (which depend on salinity and temperature differences) can drive ocean currents. The analysis of a thermohaline circulation map helps them understand how marine currents influence climate worldwide.
Freshwater is less dense than saltwater. Warm water is less dense than cold water. Water that is less dense rises; water that is more dense sinks.
The oceans, land and atmosphere exchange heat and moisture. The sun is the main motor of oceanic and atmospheric circulation.
Density differences drive thermohaline circulation, which acts as a global conveyor belt transporting ocean water within and throughout all ocean basins.
Marine currents play a key role in regulating global and regional climate.
Changes in ocean circulation have a major impact on regional climates and affect the Earth's ecosystems.
Experimentation and documentary analysis
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