(Issued Friday., March 16 for classes starting Monday, April 2)
From The Earth System, 3rd Ed., Chapter 5:
"The Circulation of the Oceans" (pp. 84-89, pp. 105-106)
- Key Questions: #1, #3
- Chapter Overview (p. 84)
- Winds and Surface Currents (pp. 84-89)
The Circulation of the Deep Ocean (pp. 105-106 only)
- Is ocean circulation a direct response to solar heating? Why or why not?
- How do winds affect water? What other process is important
in determining the pattern of ocean currents?
Convergence (p. 85)
- Identify the forces that
influence the motion of water within the layer just below the surface of the ocean
[motions shown in Figure 5-3(a)].
- What is the direction of motion (with respect to the wind) of water at
the very surface?
- In what direction (with respect to the wind) is the net flow of water
in the water column from the surface to the bottom of the Ekman layer?
Is it the same in both hemispheres? Why or why not?
Divergence (p. 86)
Upwelling and Downwelling (p. 87)
- In regions where surface currents are converging, what is the height
of the sea surface relative to nearby regions? In such regions, what
is the depth of isopycnals (lines of constant density) below the surface,
relative to nearby regions? What is the relative height of the sea surface
and depth of isopycnals in regions where surface water is downwelling?
Geostrophic Flow (p. 87)
- What are the forces acting on a parcel of water at the center of a gyre
(Figure 5-5)? What is the direction of the resulting flow? Is the direction
the same in both hemispheres? Why or why not?
Boundary Currents (p. 88)
- Which would you expect to be faster: western or eastern boundary currents?
Which would you expect to be deeper? Are the answers the same in both
hemispheres? Why or why not?
- Where would you expect to find warmer water, in western or in eastern
boundary currents? What does this imply about net poleward/equatorward
heat transport by ocean surface currents?
Ocean Circulation and Sea Surface Temperature (p. 89)
- Why does surface water in ocean gyres warm up while it is in equatorial
latitudes? In what parts of ocean gyres does surface water lose heat?
How do surface currents in ocean gyres help transport heat poleward (in
Ocean Circulation and Climate (p. 105)
- How much heat do ocean surface currents transport poleward,
relative to what the atmosphere transports?
- At what latitude(s) do ocean surface currents transport heat poleward
- How rapidly does the ocean change temperature in response to imbalances
in its heat budget, relative to the atmosphere?
Chapter Summary: #1
Review Questions: #'s 1-6, #13
Critical Thinking Problems: #2
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