Science ObjectDigital resources are stored online in your NSTA Library.
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 second of four Science Objects in the Ocean’s Effect on Weather and Climate SciPack. It explores the distribution of water and energy on Earth. The cycling of water in and out of the atmosphere and oceans affects Earth’s climates by influencing patterns of precipitation and by transferring energy between the oceans and the atmosphere. As water moves through the water cycle, it evaporates from Earth’s surface, rises and cools, condenses into rain, snow, or ice, and falls back to the surface. The water falling on land collects in rivers and lakes, soil, and porous layers of rock, and much of it eventually flows back into the ocean. The water cycle connects the oceans to all of Earth’s water reservoirs via evaporation and precipitation. The ocean loses thermal energy due to the evaporation of water. This energy transfer drives atmospheric circulation as water moves to the atmosphere as vapor and eventually condenses, releasing thermal energy to the surrounding air.