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Rc3 ocean currents
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Rc3 ocean currents


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  • 1. Ocean Currents
  • 2. Warm currents flow away from the equator. Cold currents flow toward the equator. Ocean Currents
  • 3. Sun Wind Coriolis Gravity Factors Influencing Currents
  • 4. Energy from the Sun heats the water. Warm water is less dense that cold water. Warm water rises, and cold water sinks. As warm water rises, cold water moves it to replace it. Sun
  • 5. Convection Cycle
  • 6. Just as wind moves from high pressure to low pressure areas, so does the water. Winds blow across the surface of the water, causing friction. The water piles up because the surface currents flow slower than the winds. Wind
  • 7. Wind
  • 8.  As water piles up and flows from high pressure to low pressure, gravity will pull down on the water.  This forms vertical columns or mounds of water.  The Coriolis Effect causes the water to curve. Gravity
  • 9. Causes water to move to the right in the Northern Hemisphere Causes water to move to the left in the Southern Hemisphere The Coriolis Effect
  • 10. The Coriolis Effect
  • 11. Make up 10% of oceans’ water Up to maximum depth of 400 m Surface ocean currents are caused by the surface wind patterns. Surface Currents
  • 12. Surface Currents
  • 13.  Vertical columns or mounds of water at the surface and flow around them  Produce enormous circular currents  Five major locations:  North Pacific - clockwise  South Pacific - counterclockwise  Indian Ocean - counterclockwise  South Atlantic - counterclockwise  North Atlantic - clockwise Gyres
  • 14. Oceanic Gyres
  • 15.  A strong surface current  Begins at the tip of Florida  Flows up the eastern coastline of the U.S.  Crosses the Atlantic Ocean  Causes warmer climate in NW Europe Gulf Stream
  • 16. Surface waters blow to the right of the wind. As less dense, surface water moves off shore, cold, deep, denser waters come to the surface to replace them. Upwelling
  • 17. Upwelling
  • 18. The Great Ocean Conveyor: Helps maintain Earth’s Balance
  • 19.  Make up about 90% of oceans’ water  Differences in density cause them to move.  Differences in density are related to temperature and salinity.  At high latitudes, they sink deep into the ocean basins.  Temperatures are so cold, they cause the density to increase. Deep Water Currents
  • 20. How are ocean currents produced? Reflective Question
  • 21. Abnormally high surface ocean temperatures off the coast of South America Causes unusual weather patterns across the globe El Nino
  • 22.  Starts because the easterly trade winds weaken and allow the warm waters in the Western Pacific to move east toward South America  This changes where the convection current occurs.  Causing rain where it usually doesn't occur and drought where it usually rains El Nino
  • 23. El Nino Winter
  • 24. El Nino Summer
  • 25. Abnormally low surface ocean temperatures off the coast of South America Causes unusual weather patterns across the globe La Nina
  • 26.  Ocean currents move more slowly than winds.  Oceans hold more heat than the atmosphere and land.  Cold currents will cause nearby coastlines to be cooler.  Warm currents will cause nearby coastlines to be warmer. Where do the cold currents come from? The warm currents? Ocean’s Effect on Climate
  • 27. Predictable Patterns How do these currents affect the climate of the coastline?
  • 28. How do our oceans impact climate? Reflection Questions