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 The atmosphere and water are both fluids and behave in similar ways.

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Presentation on theme: " The atmosphere and water are both fluids and behave in similar ways."— Presentation transcript:



3  The atmosphere and water are both fluids and behave in similar ways.

4  Stores the Sun’s energy ◦ Helps maintain stable temperatures on Earth  Stores CO 2  Provides O 2  Provides H 2 O  Important part of the food chain


6  Surface currents  Deep currents

7  Caused by winds.  Friction causes water to be dragged along with the wind.

8  The winds in the atmosphere curve due to the Coriolis Effect, so…  The surface currents curve also.  These circular wind patterns create spiral ocean currents called gyres


10  A particularly strong current that is part of the North Atlantic gyre, carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up the coast of the eastern United States and over to western Europe.

11  The warmer water warms the air, raising the temperature.

12  This especially powerful current is 149 miles (240 kilometers) wide and almost 1 mile (1.6) kilometers deep and can move up to 26 billion gallons of water a second. That's more than the flow of the Amazon River!  The current has caused so many shipwrecks around Cape Hatteras, a piece of land that juts out sharply from the east coast of North Carolina, that the area is called the graveyard of the Atlantic.



15  Powered by gravity  More dense ocean water sinks  What factors cause ocean water to become more dense?  1. Temperature (thermo)  2. Salt content (haline)

16  Colder water is more dense.  But…  When water freezes it becomes less dense.  That’s why ice floats

17  Uneven heating of the water’s surface  Uneven heating at different depths  Why? ◦ Sun’s rays don’t penetrate deep into the ocean

18  Salinity – salt concentration

19  Weathering of rocks continually adds sodium to the Earth’s rivers and subsequently to the ocean.

20  Freezing of water and the melting of ice

21  Sea ice is ocean water that freezes  Glaciers form on land and contain fresh water

22  When ocean water freezes the salt is left behind.  This causes the salinity of the water to increase and its density to increase.

23  When sea ice or glaciers melt (fresh water) the salinity of the surrounding water decreases.

24  Large scale ocean circulation that is driven by differences in ocean water density.


26  Deeper currents travel much slower than surface currents.  Surface currents ~2meters per second  Deep currents ~10 cm per second

27  Physical features in the ocean redirect currents.  Currents flow to the deepest part of the ocean.

28  Currents redistribute heat from low latitudes (equator) to high latitudes(poles).  Currents influence the ocean temperature, weather, and climate.  Currents transport nutrients around the ocean.

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