- Three sources of heat have influence on the ocean. Only
one is important.
- Solar energy--it is about 300 w/m ²
- Geologic sources:
- Heat generated by the radioactive decay of elements
within Earth--it is about 1 micro watt/m2,
- Heat left over from Earth's formation, and
- Human-induced through the burning of fossil fuels--it
is about 3 milliwatt/m2.
- Solar energy is by far the most important because it
is responsible for 100,000 times the contribution of the remaining two.
- The evaporation/precipitation cycle is an important
part of the heat energy released into the atmosphere. About 2/3 is evaporated
and 1/3 is radiated heat.