SIO 217C: Climate Spring 2014 Ocean Discussion Questions

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SIO 217C: Climate
Spring 2014
Ocean Discussion Questions
1. CD Fig. 2.15, ACC Fig. 8.2, and GPC Fig. 7.11 indicate that western sides of ocean basins
are warmer than eastern sides at latitudes equatorward of about 40° latitude. Why is this?
2. CD Fig. 2.16 and ACC Fig. 8.2 indicate that equatorial sea surface temperature is colder than
off-equatorial sea surface temperature in the eastern Pacific and eastern Atlantic during JJA
and in the eastern Pacific during DJF. Why is this?
3. CD Fig. 2.16 and ACC Fig. 8.2 indicate that the difference in sea surface temperature
between the western and eastern sides of ocean basins is greater in JJA than in DJF for both
hemispheres. Why is this?
4. CD Fig. 2.16 and ACC Fig. 8.2 indicate that there is a greater difference in sea surface
temperature between summer and winter seasons at middle latitudes than at low latitudes.
Why is this? CD Fig. 2.16 and ACC Fig. 8.2 also indicate that there is a greater difference in
sea surface temperature between summer and winter seasons on the western side of ocean
basins. Why is this?
5. In CD Fig. 2.19 and CD Fig. 2.20, why is sea surface salinity greater in the subtropics than
near the equator and at higher latitudes? Why is sea surface salinity much less in the Arctic
Ocean?
6. In CD Fig. 2.19, why is sea surface salinity greater in the Atlantic Ocean than the Pacific
Ocean?
7. In GPC Fig. 7.17, why does the ocean transport energy from the South Atlantic to the North
Atlantic? Why does the ocean transport energy from the North Indian to the South Indian?
Difficult Question
8. If the thermohaline circulation shut down, would the climate of Europe be substantially
affected? Why or why not?
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