17 terms

ES: Ocean Circulation


Terms in this set (...)

Draw global surface-ocean currents
How do surface currents form?
Horizontally formed.
Draw the Ocean Conveyor Belt
The large, circular surface-current pattern found in each ocean
How does the Coriolis effect influence surface currents?
Deflection of winds clockwise in the north hemisphere and counter-clockwise in the southern hemisphere
Mass / Volume
How does ocean water mix vertically?
the difference of temperature. colder,salty ocean water sinks and flows under warmer, less salty water
Ocean Conveyor Belt
constantly moving system of deep-ocean circulation driven by temperature and salinity.
How does the ocean conveyor belt affect regional climate?
brought by the gulf stream and north atlantic's immense amount of heat from the tropics to europe
Has the ocean conveyor belt ever changed or had a different path in the Earth's history?
Yes, during the ice age.
El Niño - Southern Oscillation
cycle of warm and cold temperatures, as measured by sea surface temperature, SST, of the tropical central and eastern Pacific Ocean
rising to the surface
How does El Niño affect coastal communities?
Coastal Communities are affected because colder nutrient rich deep water and the warmer surface temperatures and weak trade winds prevent upwelling. -> lack of nutrients in the water -> a severe decrease in the populations
How does El Niño start and stop?
It start from strong trade winds, and warm water moves away from coast, then eventually the cool nutrient-rich water upwells to surface
What are some of the global effects of El Niño?
Temperature changes
Precipitation changes
Storm track changes and intensity
Alteration of currents and ocean temperatur
How are the sun's energy, prevailing winds, and surface-ocean currents related?
The equator is the warmest place on earth. Here, the sun warms the earth or the sea, which in turn, heats a layer of air right above it, which rises since it is now warmer and lighter. That air then cools down with the adiabatic effect of a lesser pressure aloft and the moisture condenses as it reaches dew point temperature. Clouds form, possibly with precipitations.
Discuss the roles of solar energy and the Coriolis effect in producing global water flow patterns, including gyres.
Surface-ocean currents result largely from prevailing winds, which in turn are generated from solar energy. Other factors that contribute to ocean currents include the Coriolis effect, the position of landmasses, and the varying density of water. Gyres are large, circular ocean current systems that often encompass an entire ocean basin. Deep-ocean currents often travel in different directions and at different speeds than do surface currents. The present circulation of shallow and deep currents, known informally as the ocean conveyor belt, affects regional and possibly global climate.