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 is a short NASA video on the water cycle. The video shows the importance of the water cycle to nearly every natural process on Earth and illustrates how tightly coupled the water cycle is to climate.

This NASA animation depicts thermohaline circulation in the ocean and how it relates to salinity and water density. It illustrates the sinking of water in the cold, dense ocean near Iceland and Greenland. The surface of the ocean then fades away and the animation pulls back to show the global thermohaline circulation system.

This short video from NASA discusses the role that salinity plays in Earth's climate and ocean circulation, focusing on the observations of the Aquarius satellite.

This Changing Planet video documents scientists' concerns regarding how melting Arctic sea ice will increase the amount of fresh water in the Beaufort Gyre, which could spill out into the Atlantic and cause major climate shifts in North America and Western Europe. The video includes interviews with scientists and a look at the basics of how scientists measure salinity in the ocean and how ocean circulation works in the Arctic.

This video segment uses data-based visual NOAA representations to trace the path of surface ocean currents around the globe and explore their role in creating climate zones. Ocean surface currents have a major impact on regional climate around the world, bringing coastal fog to San Francisco and comfortable temperatures to the British Isles.

This is an interactive website that provides descriptive information and data related to ten key climate indicators. These climate indicators and related resources show global patterns and data that are intuitive and compelling teaching tools.

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 activity, students will practice the steps involved in a scientific investigation as they learn why ice formations on land (and not those on water) will cause a rise in sea level upon melting. This is a discovery lesson on ice and water density and displacement of water.

This video describes how the normal thousands-of-years-long balance of new ice creation and melting due to ocean currents has been disrupted recently by warmer ocean currents. As a result, glacier tongues that overhang the interface between ice and ocean are breaking off and falling into the ocean.

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