Chapter_6_part_1

Chapter_6_part_1 - Chapter 6 Wind and Ocean Circulation In...

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Chapter 6 Wind and Ocean Circulation
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In this chapter, we will focus on the large-scale circulation of the oceans. We will consider: Atmospheric processes Surface-ocean currents (driven by wind) Deep-ocean circulation (driven by density) Water flow in semi-enclosed seaways Global climatic change
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Atmospheric Processes Density of air is controlled by temperature, pressure, and moisture content. Warm air is less dense than cold air. Moist air is less dense than dry air. Air pressure is the weight of the air from Earth’s surface to the top of the atmosphere. A low-pressure zone occurs where air density is lower than in surrounding areas, because the air is warmer or has a higher moisture content. A high-pressure zone occurs where air pressure is higher than in surrounding areas, because the air is cooler or has a lower moisture content.
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Differences in air pressure from place to place cause pressure gradients. Winds are caused by the movement of air from regions of high pressure to regions of low pressure.
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Wind direction Indicates where the wind comes from, i.e. a westerly wind flows from the west to the east. Current direction Indicates where the water flows to , i.e. a southerly current flows to the south.
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Uneven heating of the Earth’s surface by the
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Chapter_6_part_1 - Chapter 6 Wind and Ocean Circulation In...

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