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 is the third of four Science Objects in the Ocean’s Effect on Weather and Climate SciPack. It explores ocean circulation patterns and the effect oceans have on climate. Water in the oceans hold a lot of thermal energy (more than an equal amount of land). Throughout the ocean there is a global, interconnected circulation system that transfers this thermal energy across Earth. The shape of ocean basins and adjacent land masses influence the path of circulation. As ocean currents transfer thermal energy to various locations, the temperature of the atmosphere above the ocean is affected. For example, the condensation of water that has been evaporated from warm seas provides the energy for hurricanes and cyclones. When the pattern of thermal energy released into the atmosphere changes, global weather patterns are affected. An example of a large-scale change like this is the El Niño Southern Oscillation, which changes the pattern of thermal energy released into the atmosphere in the Pacific.
Ideas For Use
Science Objects are two hour learning experiences teachers can use to enhance their understanding of a particular scientific concept. Teachers can access any topic “on demand” from the Internet. Topics are based on the science literacy goals in the national standards (NSES, Science for All Americans, Benchmarks, and the Atlas of Scientific Literacy) and tied to state standards.
Each Science Object provides an understanding of the science content by providing a structured set of learning experiences through simulations and practice assessments. Science Objects challenge teachers to explore and explain real world phenomena and are founded on the principle that learners must be challenged with a problem, observation, data, etc., in order to develop scientific understanding. Science Objects utilize the five phases of inquiry-based learning: Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate, and Evaluate.
Oceans Effect on Climate and Weather: Global Circulation Patterns
- Explain how the oceans might influence and affect local weather and climate, given a specific location (on the planet near the ocean) and the local ocean currents.
- Describe the cause of hurricanes and explain why they usually occur within specific regions during certain times of the year.
- Explain how changes in ocean temperatures (over a period of months) affect factors that influence weather patterns.
- List the major variables that affect the transfer of energy through the ocean.
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Global climate change
|Intended User Role:||Elementary-Level Educator, Middle-Level Educator, Teacher
|Educational Issues:||Inquiry learning, Professional development, Teacher content knowledge, Teaching strategies
|Resource Format:||application/x-shockwave-flash, audio/mp3, image/gif, image/jpeg, text/html, video/quicktime
|Installation Remarks:||Run the Science Objects System Check to ensure that your system is capable of viewing the simulations: http://ecommerce2.nsta.org/system_check/
|Requirements:||Requires Macromedia Flash Player and Apple Quicktime Player
State Standards Correlation
Use the form below to view which of your state standards this resource addresses.