Prepare a lab report on How Wind Influences Water Currents & Their Temperatures. Follow the link below to begin your lab experience.
In this lab, you will be comparing your powers of observation to a computer model. The purpose of the lab is to predict the final position of a rubber duck released into the ocean at a location of your choice. Follow the directions as provided on the website for 5A (Tracing Pathways) and 5B (Message in a Bottle). Your introduction will be a discussion of what factors control ocean currents and why ocean currents are important globally. After observing the “interactive map of global surface currents”, include answers to the following questions in your introduction:
- Look at the direction of the surface currents in the oceans and at the direction of the wind. What evidence do you find that wind influences the direction of the surface currents in the oceans?
- What pattern can you see in the direction of the global winds? Look at global winds near the equator, in the middle latitudes, and in the polar regions.
- Notice the location and flow of warm and cold ocean currents. Why do you suppose that currents flowing toward the equator are generally cool while currents flowing away from the equator are warm?
The second part of your introduction will answer the following questions as they relate to the construction of your hypothesis. You should also clearly state (geographic name) where you believe your rubber duck will come to rest after being released from the location of your choice:
- Where does the water flowing into your region of interest originate? Write down geographic names.
- What is the temperature of the water flowing into your region?
- When water flows out of your region, where does it go? Again, write down geographic names.
- What is the temperature of the water flowing out of your region?
Your M&M will be a straightforward description of the map you looked at to hypothesize where your rubber duck would go, followed by a description of the computer model used to test your hypothesis. The R&C will discuss whether your hypothesis matched the model results. You will compare where you thought the rubber duck would end-up to the locations (up to 5) displayed on the model map for the final resting spot of your rubber duck.