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).


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.


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