24 terms

Jet Streams and Ocean Currents


Terms in this set (...)

How do large bodies of water influence weather & climate?
They influence climate by temperature, wind, precipitation, and ocean currents.
How is the sun a major source of energy for wind/air currents?
The sun heats the air, causing it to rise. Once the heated air reaches a certain altitude, it cools and drops. This difference in air temperature causes air to move, causing currents.
How does the sun give energy to the water cycle?
The sun evaporates the water, thus beginning the water cycle.
How does the sun provide energy for ocean currents?
The sun is like an engine, which drives ocean currents. When the sun heats water at the surface of the ocean, some water evaporates, which increases the salt concentration of the water. This makes the water more dense.
What are ocean currents influenced by?
Ocean currents are influenced by thermal (sun) energy, water density, salinity (amount of salt), ocean floor topography, and the Corilois Effect.
Coriolis Effect
Earth's rotation changes the direction of winds and other objects moving across Earth. Global winds curve as Earth turns beneath them. In the Northern Hemisphere, winds turn to the right. If Earth did not rotate, winds would travel in a direct path from the poles to the equator.
What are air currents influenced by?
Air currents are influenced by thermal (sun) energy, density, air pressure, composition, and geographical influences.
What factors contribute to global climate?
Cycles such as the water cycle, wind currents, ocean currents, elevation, latitude, and large bodies of water all contribute to global climate patterns.
Name 4 geographical features that affect temperature & precipitation.
1. Altitude of an area
2. Area's distance from a large body of water
3. Latitude
4. The ocean current near the area.
How do ocean currents influence climate?
They influence climate by transferring energy from one part of the ocean to another
Warm water currents
These currents carry warmth from the tropics to higher latitudes and keep coastal regions warm.
Cold water currents
These currents carry cold water from polar regions toward the equator and keep coastal regions cool.
Gulf Stream
A major warm water current, it is quick and strong moving. It flows from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. It is classified as a western boundary current, which means its behavior is determined by the presence of a coastline. It carries warm water from the tropics to the poles.
This is caused by the horizontal movement in air, caused by the differences in air pressure from unequal heating of the Earth. It moves from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure.
Jet Stream
These flow in the upper troposphere at 200 mph or more. They travel from the west to the east and can influence the weather.
How do jet streams work?
Rather than following a straight line, they loop north to south and have a strong influence on weather in North America. Strong storms tend to follow these loops, which helps make accurate weather predictions.
Name two jet streams
Polar and subtropical
Polar Jet Stream
This pulls cold Canadian air down into the US, or can pull warm Gulf air up toward Canada. They will loop close to the poles in summer, but loop down further in the winter.
Subtropical Jet Streams
These have slower winds and exist near the equator. They have little influence on weather in North America.
Large bodies of water influence temperature....
by keeping shoreline areas warmer, due to the high heat capacity of the water.
Large bodies of water influence wind by...
differences in air temperatures from day to night. (sea breezes/land breezes)
Large bodies of water influence precipitation by....
excess moisture in the air, causing more precipiation.
Large bodies of water influence ocean currents by.....
the temperature of the current closest to the area is the temperature of the area.
Know the difference between LATITUDE and ALTITUDE.
Latitude: location north or south of the equator.

Altitude: The distance of a landform above sea level.