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Lecture 11 - Climate, Surface Currents, Heat Transport (Oceanography)

by: Megan Dengler

Lecture 11 - Climate, Surface Currents, Heat Transport (Oceanography) GEOG212

Marketplace > University of Arizona > Geoscience > GEOG212 > Lecture 11 Climate Surface Currents Heat Transport Oceanography
Megan Dengler
GPA 4.0

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This is supposedly one of the most important lectures for the second unit of Oceanography. Climate patterns, surface currents, gyres, and heat transport are discussed.
Intro to Oceanography
Joellen Russell
Class Notes
climate, Gyres, currents, temperature, Ascending, Descending, Low-Pressure, High-pressure, pressure, Hadley, Gulf-Stream, Miami, California
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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Dengler on Thursday September 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to GEOG212 at University of Arizona taught by Joellen Russell in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Intro to Oceanography in Geoscience at University of Arizona.


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Date Created: 09/29/16
September 29, 2016 Lecture 11 * Climate, Surface Currents, Heat Transport * Things to Remember - Main layers of the atmosphere - Composition of the atmosphere - Humidity = (water present) / (max water the air can hold) - Diagram of light, temperature, pressure, and humidity in atmosphere - 6 cells in the atmosphere - Coriolis Force – turns to the right in the northern hemisphere - Easterlies (Trade Winds), Westerlies, Polar Easterlies o Polar Easterlies = weak, seasonal, blow from east to west o Westerlies = strongest winds, blow from west to east o Easterlies = weak to moderate, blow from east to west o Easterlies = weak to moderate, blow from east to west o Westerlies = strongest winds, blow from west to east o Polar Easterlies = weak, seasonal, blow from east to west - Rising air = Rain : Descending air = Dry - Maps of climate patterns, wind patterns o Know deserts (along 30 degrees)  Sonoran  Sahara  Gobi  Atacama  Kalahari  Simpson o Rainforests (at equator) - Weather (High/Low Pressure) o Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get o Low pressure is rising air = rain  Converging air  Increasing humidity as it rises because the cooler can’t hold as much water. Heat in energy in 540 cal/g (evaporation ocean); Heat out energy out 540 cal/g (when it rains) o High pressure is descending air = dry  Diverging air  Decreasing humidity because it becomes warmer as it sinks (evaporation desert) - Energy Transport o Lots of energy in at the equator. Some energy and water out as it moves to 30 degrees (Hadley cell)  sinks at 30 degrees  travels to 60 degrees  rises (rest of energy and moisture out)  moves to poles where it descends very dry - Sun energy can drive big winds o Tornadoes o Hurricanes o Lightning and storms - Surface Currents o Westerlies blow the ocean water east, then when it runs into land…  In the Northern Atmosphere, it becomes the Gulf Stream (Mexico to Florida)  In the Southern Atmosphere, it becomes the Canary Current (Africa) o 5 big gyres  1. Indian Ocean Gyre  2. North Pacific Gyre  3. South Pacific Gyre  4. North Atlantic Gyre  5. South Atlantic Gyre  Why aren’t there 6?  India has bashed into the continent, closing off the ocean o Warm Currents and Cold Currents  Warm currents take warm water from the equator and drive it to the Poles  Miami has a hot water current, which makes it warm  Examples o Gulf Stream  Warm Current from Equator  High evaporation  High humidity  High rain o East Australian Current  Cold Currents take cool water from the poles and drive it to the equator  Why California water is cold – it is receiving a cold current  Examples o Canary Current o Peru Current o California Current  Cold Current from Alaska  Low evaporation  Low humidity  Low rain o CLICKER QUESTION: What drives large ocean gyres?  The Wind  The Temperature  Evaporation o Winds push warm water west, cold water east  This matters for El Nino - Surface Currents cause East-West Climate difference o Deserts tend to be on the West sides of the climates  No deserts in China and next to Sydney because they have warm water currents  Some of the descending air is mitigated by the warm water currents. - Salinity o Average = 3.5% o Winds/currents keep seawater mixed o Desert regions in the ocean  Saltier water because of evaporation in warmer areas (equator) o Rainforest regions in the ocean  Lower salinity - Currents transfer lots of heat (10%!) - Surface Currents = Gyres - Process by which surface currents transport heat o 1. Sun warms water near equator o 2. Wind belts drive currents o 3. Currents run into continents and turn o 4. Warm water carried poleward and releases heat - Migration of Plants and animals o Humans migrated along the water routes in small boats years and years ago


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