Ocean's Effect on Weather and Climate: Global Climate Patterns

Science Object

Science Objects are two hour on-line interactive inquiry-based content modules that help teachers better understand the science content they teach. This Science Object, co-developed between NOAA and NSTA, is the first of four Science Objects in the Ocean’s Effect on Weather and Climate SciPack. It explores global weather and climate patterns, focusing on why different conditions exist in specific areas. Earth’s weather patterns, which consist of different conditions of temperature, precipitation, humidity, wind, air pressure, and other atmospheric phenomena, result in various climate zones across the globe. Weather and climate are the result of the transfer of energy from the Sun at and near the surface of Earth. Solar radiation heats land masses, oceans, and air differently, resulting in the constant transfer of energy as energy is “balanced” across the globe. Transfer of thermal energy at the boundaries between the atmosphere, land masses, and the oceans—influenced by dynamic processes such as cloud cover and relatively static conditions such as the position of mountain ranges and oceans—results in layers of different temperatures and densities in both the ocean and atmosphere. The action of gravitational force on regions of different densities causes them to rise or fall, forming convection currents (cells). This circulation, influenced by the rotation of the earth, produces winds and ocean currents.

Grades
  • Elementary
  • Middle

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Reviews (24)
  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:42 PM

This science pac is really interesting to me. I love to see how earth systems work. I was surprised to see how the ocean effected the climate around the globe. However, it only makes sense with the oceans covering most of the planet. It makes me wonder how serious we really should be taking the current climate of earth and how it raises it every year.

Gerard Latimore
Gerard Latimore

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:23 PM

This lesson explored climate and weather. I enjoyed the graphics and the interactive activities. In the Global Climate Precipitation and Energy Science Object they defined and described climate how solar energy is transferred, at or near Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. They also discussed that climate and daily weather are based on solar energy radiating to and then being distributed around Earth This lesson provide great information on weather, temperature, water cycle, Precipitation, Humidity, Meteorology, and Climate and Patterns. The Climate Zones interactive activity were a favorite. I really appreciated the Check your Thinking and Hands on Activities.

Sheri Smith
Sheri Smith

  • on Thu Oct 01, 2015 6:02 PM

This lesson explored weather. I enjoyed the graphics and the interactive activities. In the Global Climate Patterns Science Object they defined and described climate and how solar energy is transferred, Earth's surface, oceans and atmosphere. This lesson provide great information on weather, temperature, water cycle, Precipitation, Humidity, Meteorology, and Climate and Patterns. The Climate Zones interactive activity were a favorite. I really appreciated the Check you Thinking and Hands on Activity.

Sheri
Sheri

  • on Mon Sep 28, 2015 2:25 AM

As stated in the Science Object, “Many people use the terms weather and climate interchangeably.” I was intrigued at how they clearly demonstrated the difference between weather and climate. Although many people know that weather is the state of the atmosphere at a particular place over a short period of time; I think that there is a misconception that climate is one and the same, when really it’s not. Climate is the average pattern of atmospheric conditions for a region over a span of many years. I like how they worded the statement, “climate is what you expect and weather is what you get.” It helps one understand that weather deals more with how conditions (such as temperature, humidity, wind, etc.) can change from one minute to the next, hour to hour, day to day and even season to season; whereas, climate conditions are studied over long periods of time in a particular place. A great way to look at it is to consider the example; a single cold winter does not indicate a radical change in climate; however a series of 15 cold winters in a row could indicate that climate is changing. This reminds me of the climate of today. I have noticed that our winters are just a bit warmer and shorter than before. This to me is an indication that the climate is definitely changing. I enjoyed learning and understanding a lot better “Albedo” the reflectivity of a surface. The visuals that are demonstrated are wonderful examples for even a child to understand and be able to explain after the presentations. I really enjoyed this Science Object.

Kizzy Amos
Kizzy Amos

  • on Wed Sep 03, 2014 5:36 AM

I really enjoy Science Objects. In 1-3 hours, the Ocean's Effect on Weather and Climate: Global Climate Patterns Science Object will help me re-learn, refresh, or learn for the first time some critical science concepts I will have to know to obtain my Science Educator credentials. I appreciate that I can complete them at my own pace, and that, if used as park of a SciPack, I have access to a content expert to go to for help. The NSTA Learning Center Science Objects are very beneficial! Not only will they enrich my teaching, the knowledge will enrich my life.

Naomi Beverly  (Marietta, GA)
Naomi Beverly (Marietta, GA)

  • on Wed Apr 03, 2013 1:33 PM

Great review of solar energy's effect on the water cycle.

Stacey
Stacey

  • on Sat Oct 27, 2012 7:15 PM

I thought the content matter connecting the physical oceanography and the atmospheric science was outstanding. This resource is a must for the teacher at the middle school level, especially!

James Johnson  (Custer City, PA)
James Johnson (Custer City, PA)

  • on Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:25 PM

This was easy to read and understand. I really appreciate the interactives and visuals, they added a better understanding to the lesson, especially for a visual learner.

Jessica
Jessica

  • on Tue Dec 27, 2011 12:28 AM

Oceans cover 70% of the Earth's surface and as such, they play a critical role in climate change. This resource does an amazing job describing short and long term climate changes caused/forced by oceans and atmospheric conditions. From warm fronts to humidity to precipitation, this science object does a great job describing the role our oceans play in the transfer of energy around the globe. The animations are great and work synergistically with the text to help viewers analyze global climate patterns.

Lorrie Armfield  (Laurel, MD)
Lorrie Armfield (Laurel, MD)

  • on Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:10 AM

This Science Object is a great resource for teachers, not only to help educate their students about weather and climate, but also to speak intelligently about critical issues like climate change and the possible effects it may have on weather. The NSTA resources I now have access to continue to amaze me!

Duane Little  (Washington, DC)
Duane Little (Washington, DC)

  • on Thu Nov 11, 2010 10:38 AM

This resource examines the role the oceans and atmosphere play in creating the Earth's climate. This depends on a transfer of solar energy to the Earth's surface, including the ocean; climate and daily weather are based on solar energy radiating and distributed on Earth. Liberal use of sims and built on physical science concepts. Well-organized.

Jennifer Rahn  (Delafield, WI)
Jennifer Rahn (Delafield, WI)

  • on Mon Sep 06, 2010 2:54 PM

Once I allowed “pop ups” from NSTA on my computer, I had no problem accessing this resource. I liked having the option to read the material myself and/or have the material read to me by the online narrator. I appreciated the “check your thinking” and the “questions to check understanding” buttons that were spread throughout the resource. I liked the way the information was “chunked” into well-organized and intuitive sections. The inclusion of “common student misconceptions” and “hands-on activities” sidebars made the resource directly applicable to my middle school science classroom, which I appreciated. I liked the high-quality production value that went into the design of figures, animation, and particularly the interactive support features. Although I did not make use of the feature, I was comforted to know that email help from a Science Content Mentor was just an “Ask the Mentor” click away. I also welcomed the supplemental resources such as the companion Sci-Guide and the online glossary of all highlighted vocabulary. I found the resource to be highly engaging and was surprised at how quickly the time passed. I highly recommend this resource.

Robert Gilmore  (Milford, MA)
Robert Gilmore (Milford, MA)

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:43 PM

The Scipack was a great resource for understanding the ocean’s effects on weather and climate. The use of animations worked well and was very well organized. The use of hands-on activities were great for my gifted classroom.

JeRita Humphrey
JeRita Humphrey

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:08 PM

This article makes a distinction between climate and weather which are different. The Earth is getting warmer because people are adding heat-trapping gases to the atmosphere, mainly by burning fossil fuels. These gases are called greenhouse gases. Warmer temperatures are causing other changes around the world, such as melting glaciers and stronger storms. These changes are happening because the Earth's air, water, and land are all linked to the climate. The Earth's climate has changed before, but this time is different. People are causing these changes, which are bigger and happening faster than any climate changes that modern society has ever seen before. People need to be conscience of the effect that humans have on global warming and climate change.

Charnita W
Charnita W

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 5:01 PM

This sci pack on climate pattern does and excellent job of sharing about any recurring characteristic of the climate. Climate patterns have the potential to last tens of thousands of years, like the glacial and inter-glacial periods within ice ages, or repeat each year, like monsoons. I enjoyed learning new information such as a climate pattern may come in the form of a regular cycle, like the diurnal cycle or the seasonal cycle; a quasi periodic event, like El Niño; or a highly irregular event, such as a volcanic winter. The regular cycles are generally well understood and may be removed by normalization. One example is, graphs which show trends of temperature change will usually have the effects of seasonal variation removed. The sci pack included lots of information and plenty of visual examples.

Tanya Barrett
Tanya Barrett

  • on Thu Oct 15, 2015 4:46 PM

This is a great resource to help teach climate and weather. This would also help to explain the global weather system and their influence on weather patterns.

Felicia A
Felicia A

  • on Thu Oct 01, 2015 4:21 PM

This resource is very much aligned to the 4th grade Georgia Performance Standards for science. In fact, it takes the standards to the next level. I would use this with my gifted students to help them have a deeper meaning understanding of weather and climate.

Bianca Jones
Bianca Jones

  • on Wed Sep 30, 2015 7:30 PM

I found the beginning of this Science Object to be beneficial to the unit “Weather” that I teach. I think the portion on weather would be good for me to play as an audio to my 4th grade students to grasp in formation and to display another way that informational text can be displayed. I would assume that the further the Science Object continue the more in depth it became to show how in upper grade the content weather is extended.

Adriane Woods
Adriane Woods

  • on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:48 PM

Overall, the “Ocean’s Effects on Weather and Climate: Global Climate Patterns” SciPak is informative. Yet, I believe the SciPak could be improved by mentioning theories as to why climates are trending towards warmer temperatures or show data from previous decades to show ebbs and flows of climate change (if there is any such data available). For example, the SciPak could have discussed the differences between the oceans in 1920 and now to explain the rise in temperature. Presently, many people attribute the rising temperatures seen across the globe as a result of global warming caused by an increased use of manmade C02. The SciPak discussed Green House gases but did not mention what some believe the effect air pollution has on the temperature many have known as the Global Warming Theory. If by chance, the author chooses not to believe in the Global Warming Theory, it would be helpful to give the reader an explanation of the increasing of temperature in the weather over the years. The inability to answer that question may sway readers into believing global warming theories when they are presented.

Papillon  (Atlanta, GA)
Papillon (Atlanta, GA)

  • on Thu Sep 24, 2015 1:48 PM

Overall, the “Ocean’s Effects on Weather and Climate: Global Climate Patterns” SciPak is informative. Yet, I believe the SciPak could be improved by mentioning theories as to why climates are trending towards warmer temperatures or show data from previous decades to show ebbs and flows of climate change (if there is any such data available). For example, the SciPak could have discussed the differences between the oceans in 1920 and now to explain the rise in temperature. Presently, many people attribute the rising temperatures seen across the globe as a result of global warming caused by an increased use of manmade C02. The SciPak discussed Green House gases but did not mention what some believe the effect air pollution has on the temperature many have known as the Global Warming Theory. If by chance, the author chooses not to believe in the Global Warming Theory, it would be helpful to give the reader an explanation of the increasing of temperature in the weather over the years. The inability to answer that question may sway readers into believing global warming theories when they are presented.

Papillon  (Atlanta, GA)
Papillon (Atlanta, GA)

  • on Tue Aug 06, 2013 9:45 AM

This is a great resource to explain the difference between weather and climate.

Janet Drueschler
Janet Drueschler

  • on Mon Jan 02, 2012 7:59 PM

I found the information to be very informative. The visuals and interactives were great.

Jessica
Jessica

  • on Thu Jun 11, 2015 2:23 PM

Will continue to review with greater interest.

Tammy Smith
Tammy Smith

  • on Fri Dec 16, 2011 11:14 AM

I read Robert's review (which is totally on point). However, I was reminded that in my experiences the "CHECK YOUR READING" pop-ups do not reveall all of the information on the page; can anyone tell me how this can be corrected?

Duane Little  (Washington, DC)
Duane Little (Washington, DC)


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