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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.


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


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.  





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.


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