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Students observe images of daily average sea surface temperatures taken during 2017, as they analyze the plots for evidence of changes that are occurring throughout the year.


Analyze these satellite images comparing Ocean Chlorophyll Concentrations with Sea Surface Temperatures beginning with the North Atlantic region, then expanding global patterns of these phenomena.  Credit: NASA Earth Observatory


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.  


The Earth's system exemplifies stability and change. Change and rates of change can be observed and quantified over very short or long periods of time and various spatial scales (e.g., from landscape level to global processes).



Review this animation showing monthly average wind speed at 10 meters above the ocean surface for our global ocean (meters per second) in 2017-2018.  This animation was created using the My NASA Data Earth System Data Explorer. For more information about how to create your own animation, see links at the bottom of this page.



Can you tell El Nino from La Nina? This interactive was created by UCAR Center for Science Education using satellite images of the height of the ocean surface.  Students interpret these images to identify whether they represent El Nino, La Nina, or neither event (La Nada!).


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