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Topic: Oceanic Heat Budget

Topic: Systems and Structures

We have been told that the ocean has a budget - " heat budget " that is. The heat budget plays a crucial role in making our planet a hospitable (friendly) place for humans and other life. It has been theorized that a "shut down" in this awesome system could have far-reaching implications (drastic effects).

Mission:

Your assignment is to find out all you can about the oceanic heat budget.

  • Identify locales (sites) of heat imbalance within the Earth-atmosphere system
  • Describe the mechanisms (how it works) of poleward heat transport operating within the Earth-atmosphere system.
  • List and explain the factors that contribute to the differential (difference in) heating and cooling of land and water.
  • Distinguish between a continental climate and a maritime climate.

Remember, the crew is counting on you to check out the "shut down" theory which may be crucial to the survival of humankind.

Asssessment:

You will be judged on your "informative" presentation and explanation (power point presentation, essay [word processing], charts/graphs [chart wizard or Excel] photographs and/or drawings, etc.) to the crew of the "far-reaching" implications a shut down or alteration in the heat budget might have.

Lesson Ideas created/adapted by Margaret Hammer (Graduate Research Assistant) and Judith Kenworthy (Technology Mentor Fellowship Associate) Texas A&M University. All comments and questions can be directed to stewart@ocean.tamu.edu