b. Covering 70% of Earth's surface, the ocean exerts a major control on climate by dominating Earth's energy and water cycles. It has the capacity to absorb large amounts of solar energy. Heat and water vapor are redistributed globally through density-driven ocean currents and atmospheric circulation. Changes in ocean circulation caused by tectonic movements or large influxes of fresh water from melting polar ice can lead to significant and even abrupt changes in climate, both locally and on global scales.

This animation depicts real-time wind speed and direction at selected heights above Earth's surface, ocean surface currents, and ocean surface temperatures and anomalies.

In this classroom activity, students access sea surface temperature and wind speed data from a NASA site, plot and compare data, draw conclusions about surface current and sea surface temperature, and link their gained understanding to concerns about global climate change.

This video follows Bermuda scientists into the field as they collect data that documents a warming trend in ocean temperatures. BIOS Director Tony Knapp discusses some of the impact of warming temperatures on sea levels, storms, and marine ecosystems.

This video highlights research conducted at Woods Hole on how heat absorbed by the ocean and changes of ocean chemistry from human activities could lead to a tipping point for marine life and ecosystems. Includes ice bath experiment that models the tipping point of Arctic sea ice.

The NOAA Ocean Service Education lab requires students create and manipulate solutions simulating different ocean water characteristics in order to recognize that the effects of salinity and temperature are the drivers of thermohaline circulation.

In this worksheet-based activity, students review global visualizations of incoming sunlight and surface temperature and discuss seasonal change. Students use the visualizations to support inquiry on the differences in seasonal change in the Northern and Southern Hemispheres and how land and water absorb and release heat differently. The activity culminates in an argument about why one hemisphere experiences warmer summers although it receives less total solar energy.

This animated visualization was created for the planetarium film 'Dynamic Earth'. It illustrates the trail of energy that flows from atmospheric wind currents to ocean currents.

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