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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.  



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.