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Water and Atmosphere - Chapter 2


a large stream of moving water that flows through the oceans.

Coriolis Effect

the effect of Earth's rotation on the direction of the winds and currents


the average annual conditions of temperature, precipitation, winds, and clouds in an area

El Nino

an abnormal climate event that occurs every two to seven years in the Pacific Ocean, causing changes in winds, currents, and weather patterns for one to two years

La Nina

a climate event in th eastern Pacific Ocean in which surface wtaters are cooler than normal

How are currents different than waves?

ocean water is moved great distances by currents but not by waves

What causes surface currents?


What causes surface currents to curve clockwise in the northern hemisphere and counter clockwise in the southern hemisphere?

the Coriolis Effect

What causes deep currents?

differences in density of ocean water

How does the temperature of ocean water affect its density?

colder water is more dense

How does the salinity of ocean water affect its density?

the higher the salinity, the greater the density

How do surface currents affect climate?

by moving warm or cold water around the globe, warming or cooling the air above

How do deep currents affect the oceans?

deep water currents move and mix water around the world. They carry cold water from the poles toward the equator

What is caused by differences in ocean water density?

deep currents

What is the gulf stream?

surface current originating by the Gulf of Mexico and then moving across the atlantic ocean

In the northern hemisphere, the Coriolis effect causes currents to ___.

curve clockwise

In the southern hemisphere,the Coriolis effect causes currents to ___.

curve counter clockwise

Unlike waves, currents ___ water from one place to another.


Earth's rotation causes the ____.

Coriolis effect

The Gulf Stream ___ nearyby land areas.


The thermohaline circulation is a pattern of ocean currents driven by ___ differences


A surface current effects the ___ of nearby land.


___ currents affect water down to a depth of several meters


____ is a climate event that occurs when surface waters in the eastern Pacific are colder than normal.

La Nina

___ is an abnormal climate event that occurs every 2 to 7 years in the Pacific Ocean

El Nino

___ are large streams of moving water that flow through the oceans


___ is the pattern of temperature and precipitation typical of an area over a long period of time


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