THE ODD COUPLE
Oceans and Climates
As we all know, the Earth's temperature and climate has changed and is still changing as the years go on. Even on the human-time scale, there have been noticeable temperature changes and fluctuations. The first thing that comes to mind is Global Warming and greenhouse gasses, so where do oceans come into play? Well, your about to find out!
Here are three BIG IDEAS!
The Ocean's Energy Absorbing Powers!
Earth's main source of energy is the sun's light and heat that it gives off, but did you know that the ocean absorbs a lot of the sun's energy? Technically, the continents do too, but since the oceans cover more than 70% of the Earth's surface and they are darker, they absorb more energy.
From Solar to Heat
Now, the oceans don't just absorb the energy and throw it in the trash, they store the solar energy in the form of heat energy. But the thing is, they can do this with minimal temperature change. Scientist believe this may have something to do with the climate. The reason? Because when the wind blows over the ocean, the stored heat travels with it. Eventually, the wind releases the water as precipitation. This causes an raise in temperature.
The Moving Waters
The ocean isn't just still all the time, there are ocean currents. These movements are caused by wind, Earth's rotation, and different factors/variables caused by things under the ocean. But there are also deep ocean currents. These are caused by the density of the water. Salt/ocean water is more dense than "normal" water at the same temperature and cold ocean water is more dense than warm ocean water.
Some Questions I still have...
I know that the ocean absorb more of the sun's energy, which would make the climate cooler, but the ocean also stores the energy as heat that the wind brings into the air, making it warmer. So if land and ocean were located the exact same distance from the equator and had almost identical weather patterns, which would be warmer?
Would the land because it reflects more energy or the ocean because it stores/releases heat?
SO.. Why did I Just Read All of That...
Imagine being a fisher or a shipper and not knowing what spots to avoid due to the currents? It would be HAVOC! Ocean currents affect our daily lives because they can cause ship wrecks and other incidents if they are not avoided. Also, the currents could bring in fish for fishing.