About This Chapter
Atmospheric & Oceanic Circulation - Chapter Summary
Our instructors have created entertaining lessons you can study anytime to gain greater insight into atmospheric and oceanic circulation. Get up to speed on El Nino, cyclones vs. anticyclones, ocean upwelling, major ocean current circulation and other related topics. As you explore the lessons, be sure to find out how well you understand key concepts by taking multiple-choice quizzes. For a broader review of the lessons, feel free to take the chapter exam. The Dashboard tracks your progress through this chapter and makes it easy for you to submit lesson topic questions to our experts. After finishing this chapter, you will be ready to:
- List and describe the properties of water and ocean water
- Exhibit knowledge of oceanic and general atmospheric circulation
- Define and discuss the influences of the Coriolis effect
- Describe global wind patterns of the three wind belts
- Discuss the indirect and direct measurement of ocean currents
- Detail the patterns of ocean circulation and ocean surface circulation
- Showcase an understanding of deep ocean currents and thermohaline circulation
1. Properties of Water
Why does ice float? Why can water rise on its own against gravity in a small tube? Find out how these mysterious properties of water can be explained by hydrogen bonds.
2. Properties of Ocean Water
Ocean waters are salty and contain minerals and dissolved gases. They also have a high heat capacity and vary in density depending on temperature and salinity. Learn more about the unique chemical and physical properties of ocean water.
3. Oceanic & General Atmospheric Circulation
The movement of air and water across the planet is the driving force of climate and weather patterns. There are many factors that affect ocean and atmospheric circulation, and here we will explore what they are and how they function. At the end, you can test your knowledge with a brief quiz.
4. The Coriolis Effect: Definition & Influences
In this lesson, we'll be looking at the Coriolis Effect: what it is and how it influences the way we perceive the movement of objects while here on Earth. When you're done, you'll be able to test your newfound knowledge with a quiz.
5. The Global Wind Patterns of the Three Wind Belts
You are familiar with wind, but did you know there are different wind belts depending on where you are on the earth? This lesson will examine the three main wind belts: polar easterlies, tropical easterlies and prevailing westerlies.
6. What is El Nino? - Definition & Effects
El Nino is a weather phenomenon caused when warm water from the western Pacific Ocean flows eastward. In this lesson, we'll see how the effects of El Nino can be noticed in many parts of the world, with different regions experiencing varying weather anomalies.
7. Cyclones & Anticyclones: Ridges & Troughs
Rotating air in the atmosphere can create some of the most destructive weather patterns on earth. This lesson will examine how some of these cyclonic patterns form and what they mean for our weather forecasts.
8. Direct & Indirect Measurement of Ocean Currents
The way that surface currents move is a major source of study in the field of oceanography. In this lesson, we'll take a look at both direct and indirect methods for measuring surface currents, including examples of each.
9. Ocean Surface Circulation: Patterns, Speed & Direction
The water on planet Earth is constantly moving around the globe. Learn about the five major circular swirls that move the waters around in our oceans.
10. Ocean Circulation: Patterns & Effect on Climate
The ocean waters are always in motion and as they travel around the globe they carry and distribute heat, which affects the global climate. Learn about the ocean circulation patterns and how they impact the climate.
11. Ocean Upwelling: Definition & Types
Ocean currents play a critical role in climate and marine ecology. Upwelling areas are particularly important in both processes. Here we will examine what ocean upwelling is, how it works, some examples, and will finish with a brief quiz.
12. Major Ocean Current Circulation: Features & Patterns
This lesson will describe the major features of several ocean currents, including the Antarctic Circumpolar Current and the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Ocean circulations.
13. Deep Ocean Currents & Thermohaline Circulation
In this lesson, you will learn how the deep waters beneath the wavy top layers move with a strength that is 16 times stronger than all the rivers in the world combined.
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