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Analyzing monthly environmental data from the North Atlantic Ocean will help you to learn more about how the water cycle affects sea surface salinity. Your challenge is to find the data set that most closely corresponds to sea surface salinity patterns.
Salinity is key to studying the water cycle and ocean circulation, both of which are related to climate. Over decades, the amount of salt in ocean basins has been fairly stable. The water cycle operates on much faster time scales, however, causing changes in salinity patterns.
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 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.