Question 1

Using an interactive visual of the currents, and other resource materials, you will be asked to explain how the ocean currents work and what environmental factors influence them. 

For your lab, address the following issues:

  1. Where do the warm ocean currents originate? Describe their path. Where do cold ocean currents originate? Describe their path.
  2. Now let’s talk about what “drives” the Gulf Stream, and subsequently, circulation throughout the oceans. Describe the ocean current cycles in terms of temperature, evaporation, and salinity. What is the role of the Coriolis Effect and gyres in the movement of the Gulf Stream? It may help to go to this or another link describing the thermohaline circulation, also known as “the great ocean conveyor belt“.
  3. Can an ocean gyre like the Gulf Stream stop, even if the glaciers in Greenland were to melt?
  4. What causes salinity to change? Using the above interactive display and description of the great ocean conveyor belt, what do you think would happen if:
    • The ocean temperatures rose 5 degrees?
    • The ocean becomes more saline?
    • Less saline? (examine global surface current) (the big chill). mythology: The Gulf Stream, European climate and Abrupt Change). (the great ocean conveyor belt).

Question 2.

When evaluating pseudoscientific claims, it is important to examine the data in various ways to discern discrepancies by asking questions.

Read the following article on climate change denial by atmospheric scientist Roy Spencer.

My Global Warming Skepticism, for Dummies ( .

Then watch the video below.

For the discussion pick one of the points raised by Dr. Spencer and explore it in depth. Bring in other articles that support or refute Dr. Spencer’s articles. Answer the following questions.

  • Who is Roy Spencer and what are his credentials in climate research or weather forecasting?
  • What is the difference between weather and climate?
  • Which of his points did you select to explore? Summarize his argument.
  • What are his sources of data?
  • Prepare a rebuttal or acceptance of Spencer’s argument. Use facts and refer to data. Include citations to your sources and include references at the end.

Science relies on the scientific method.  So what is the scientific method? (scientific method video).

Question 3.

  • In your opinion, what are the major concerns regarding the Gulf Stream? Please provide examples.
  • Can an ocean gyre like the Gulf Stream stop, even if the glaciers in Greenland were to melt?
  • Should residents in the east coast of the United States be the only ones worried about the Gulf Stream?
  • What are the economic implications of changes to the ocean currents?

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