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Narrative: The Climate-Ocean Connection
Slide 03: Sea Surface Currents and Temperature
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Narrative: The Climate-Ocean Connection
Slide 03: Sea Surface Currents
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Say:

Now that the image is moving, think about how the ocean is like the climate’s heart and circulatory system.

Like our heart pumps blood, heat, and nutrients around our bodies, the ocean pumps water, heat, and nutrients, even living things, all around the world.

What are you noticing from the movement of the ocean currents?

Currents like the Gulf Stream in the Atlantic (or the Kuroshio in the Pacific) carry warmth from the tropics to higher latitudes, giving places like England and Washington State more moderate climates than you might expect given how far north they are.

This is one example of how ocean circulation helps to regulate the climate and stabilize Earth’s temperatures.

Notes and Rationale:

This “beat” in the narrative introduces the key concept for the interpretation. The talking point here draws on the tested Explanatory Metaphor Climate’s Heart, which research has shown to be an effective way of helping people make sense of the role the ocean plays in regulating the climate system.

By asking specific, inquiry-driven questions, you are more likely to elicit good responses from your audience.

If you have time, you may wish to add this example: “England is at the same latitude as Newfoundland, but there are palm trees in Corwall in southern England. This is due to the warm air brought along the Gulf Stream and across the Atlantic.”

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