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GLOBE protocols and learning activities that complement the Ocean Circulation Patterns phenomenon through hands-on investigations are detailed. These protocols can be used to build a basis for understanding the principles of salinity and water temperature which are drivers of the ocean circulation patterns.



Ocean waters are constantly on the move; understanding how and why they move is not an easy task. However, it is an important job considering that these waters affect Earth’s climate, as well as habitats for plants and animals, even on land.


In this experiment, students make a claim about the cause of ocean currents and then develop a model to explain the role of salinity and density in deep ocean currents.  This lesson is modified from "Visit to an Ocean Planet" Caltech and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.


In this activity, students make a claim about the cause of ocean currents and then develop a model to explain the role of temperature and density in deep ocean currents.  This lesson is modified from "Visit to an Ocean Planet" Caltech and NASA/Jet Propulsion Laboratory.



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.


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