Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates. [Clarification Statement: Emphasis is on how patterns vary by latitude, altitude, and geographic land distribution. Emphasis of atmospheric circulation is on the sunlight-driven latitudinal banding, the Coriolis effect, and resulting prevailing winds; emphasis of ocean circulation is on the transfer of heat by the global ocean convection cycle, which is constrained by the Coriolis effect and the outlines of continents. Examples of models can be diagrams, maps and globes, or digital representations.] [Assessment Boundary: Assessment does not include the dynamics of the Coriolis effect.]
This unit includes 1. A 3 day data mine of weather forecasts, including precipitation, wave heights on coastal states, water temperatures, and land temperatures for a compare and contrast. 2. A data graphing exercise on four coastal areas that compare air temperatures and precipitation amounts for an entire year (my students really enjoy this activity. 3. A water temperature thermal compare for hemispheres and locations for water temperatures. 4. A compare and contrast data mining activity between 2015 and 2014 for a land and oceans temperature from January to June. 5. Students will begin looking into ocean currents based on the findings of ocean temps (warm water moves to the North, cools and descends back toward the equator... no matter which hemisphere the water is located. 6. Students will learn about the cargo ship that dumped its contents of bath toys into the ocean and graph the locations the toys were found in order to show the natural current of the upper Pacific Ocean. Plus several other activities focusing on how the salinity and depth of water also have an effect on ocean currents.