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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


What is sea-level rise and how does it affect us? This "Teachable Moment" looks at the science behind sea-level rise and offers lessons and tools for teaching students about this important climate topic. 



The ocean's surface is not level, and sea levels change in response to changes in chemistry and temperature. Sophisticated satellite measurements are required for scientists to document current sea level rise.


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.  



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