Finding the Link Between Ocean Density and Circulation

Susan Lozier

Professor of Ocean Sciences
Duke University

Dr. Lozier is a physical oceanographer with interests in large-scale ocean circulation. Her research focuses on understanding the physical controls on ocean productivity, including how the ocean's primary productivity will respond to climate change and whether ocean stratification plays a role in those expected changes.

Webinar Clip
In this clip, Dr. Lozier explains how changes in ocean circulation are the result of not only changes in seawater density, but also the amount of wind blowing on the surface of the ocean to push the water around. This helps scientists explain more thoroughly the idea of the "global conveyor belt", a generalized term for the more aptly named "overturning circulation".

Full webinar: Using Aquarius Data: How is Inquiry-Driven Education Brought to the Undergraduate Classroom?

Click here for a transcript of this clip (PDF, 51.5 KB).

Applicable Science Standards
  • Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Planning and Carrying Out Investigations. Scientists and engineers plan and carry out investigations in the field or laboratory, working collaboratively as well as individually. Their investigations are systematic and require clarifying what counts as data and identifying variables or parameters.
  • Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions. The goal of science is the construction of theories that provide explanatory accounts of the world. A theory becomes accepted when it has multiple lines of empirical evidence and greater explanatory power of phenomena than previous theories.