Education: Effects of Water Cycle Changes on the Ocean

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Explain the relationship between fresh water and ocean dynamics
Determine if global precipitation, evaporation, and the cycling of water are changing
Introduction to the Water Cycle Dr.Raymond Schmitt explains
Block diagram of the water cycle
Warming and the Water Cycle Dr. Raymond Schmitt makes connections
The Role of Evaporation and Precipitation See how they fit with the global water cycle
How is the Water Cycle Changing? And How are these Changes Affecting the Ocean?
Studies suggest that seawater is becoming fresher in high latitudes and tropical areas dominated by rain, while in sub-tropical high evaporation regions, waters are getting saltier. This pattern appears to be related to changes in evaporation, precipitation, and ocean circulation in what some scientists call an "accelerated" water cycle.

In addition, the world's ocean helps ease climate change by absorbing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. However, an increase in salinity in some regions will reduce seawater's ability to absorb carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. Such changes could significantly impact the climate in which we live.

Featured Movie: Aquarius Sees Salty Shifts

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