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Ocean and Climate

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Ocean and Climate

The ocean and its massive flow of water or currents are vital to how the heat energy moves between the Earth’s bodies of water, landforms and atmosphere. The ocean is a crucial factor in the storage and transfer of heat energy across the earth. The movement of heat through the ocean currents affects the regulation of weather conditions and temperature extremes. The global climate is directly impacted by the ocean’s current. “The ocean covers more than 71 percent of the Earth’s surface and holds 97 percent of its water” (National Geographic). Ocean currents are located on the surface of the ocean and deep in the water below. The currents can move horizontally and vertically. The ocean has an interconnected current or circulation system powered by wind, tides, the Earth’s rotation and the sun. The ocean absorbs heat when the air is warm and releases heat when the air is cool. The ocean’s role is critical in determining the climate because it absorbs, stores, and transports heat from the sun.
The ocean can warm or cool the air in a different ways, when the air is at a lower temperature than seawater, the ocean transfers heat to the lower atmosphere forming a low pressure air mass over that part of the ocean. Cool or cold waters lead to the formation of a high pressure air mass. This affects jet streams, bands of fast-moving high altitude air currents. These streams supply energy to developing storms at lower altitudes. The ocean alters the direction of storms and some storms even reverse direction as result of ocean-influenced air pressure changes.
The current in the ocean distributes the effects of weather worldwide. Some currents carry warm water from the tropical and subtropical regions toward the poles, whil...

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... are many factors that contribute to the weather and climate but it is the ocean along with the sun that is responsible for creating such drastic weather changes. The hydrologic cycle is the never ending circulation that takes water from the ocean to atmosphere and back to the ocean. The ocean is responsible for making it rain, snow, hail or sleet by creating clouds from evaporation caused by the heat of the sun.

Works Cited

Herring, David. “Ocean and Climate Fact Sheet.” Earth Observatory. NASA. http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Features/OceanClimate/.php. How Stuff Works. “How the Ocean Affects Climate.” Discovery Company. Web.

http://www.howstuffworks.com/how-the-ocean-affects-climate-info.htm.

Stewart, Robert. “Ocean and Climate.” Flesh-Kincaid. Web.

http://oceanmotion.org/html/background/climate.htm.
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