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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.  



Exploring salinity patterns is a great way to better understand the relationships between the water cycle, ocean circulation, and climate. Explore sea surface salinity mapped plots created from the Earth System Data Explorer, paired with questions (and answers) from the Aquarius Mission. Credit: Aquarius Education


This mini-lesson features time-series graphs of monthly averaged salinity, temperature, or density from the surface down to 1500 meters (4921 feet) for six different locations along the northern and southern Atlantic Ocean. A series of questions guides students in their analysis.



Review this animation showing monthly average wind speed at 10 meters above the ocean surface for our global ocean (meters per second) in 2017-2018.  This animation was created using the My NASA Data Earth System Data Explorer. For more information about how to create your own animation, see links at the bottom of this page.


Are you interested in accessing NASA data featuring ocean's mean sea level data to create your own model?  If so, you don't want to miss this mini lesson where models are easily created using the My NASA Data Earth System Data Explorer's 5-day Mean Sea Level (Sea Surface Height) Anomaly (meters).


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