This investigation is part of the NASA: Mission Geography Module "What are the causes and consequences of climate change?" that guides students through explorations in climatic variability and evidence for global climate change.
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The world's ocean is heated at the surface by the sun, and this heating is uneven for many reasons. Earth's rotation, revolution around the sun, and tilt all play a role, as do the wind-driven ocean surface currents.This animation shows the long-term average sea surface temperature, with red and yellow depicting warmer waters and blue depicting colder waters.
Arctic sea ice is the cap of frozen seawater blanketing most of the Arctic Ocean and neighboring seas in wintertime. It follows seasonal patterns of thickening and melting. See how the quantity has changed from 1979 through 2018.
Check out this the Arctic and Earth SIGNs video to explore how climate models are used in climate change research.
Are you looking for a data story to use with your students that features ocean circulation and its connection to the Earth system? Consider using the following resources in your classroom today!