Education: Small Scale Observations and Large Scale Ideas

In order to have a more accurate view of ocean systems, scientists need to investigate processes occurring at both small and large scales: things like mesoscale eddies in the Gulf Stream or ocean salinity across the entire North Atlantic. Knowing about these systems at varying scales helps to more accurately predict changes in the ocean and allows scientists to dive deeper into how a small-scale process can affect a large-scale oceanic event.

Distribution of sunlight on earth

Atmosphere and the Ocean (00:02:26)  Analyzing and Interpreting Data Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Engaging in Argument From Evidence 
Ted Taylor, a high school earth sciences teacher at Bangor High School, discusses how to get more ocean science topics into the classroom.
Deep sea formation

Global Ocean Circulation (00:03:14)  Asking Questions and Defining Problems Engaging in Argument From Evidence 
To understand Earth's climate, it is important to understand ocean circulation, which can be studied by examining ocean salinity. Julius Busecke explains how North Atlantic deep water is formed and how that drives global ocean circulation.

How Do We Define Salinity? (00:01:30)  Asking Questions and Defining Problems Planning and Carrying Out Investigations Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions 
Dr. Tom Farrar explains what scientists mean when they talk about ocean salinity and defines the associated values.
Weather forecast map

In this clip, Ph.D student Julius Busecke explains that through his research, he is trying to determine how freshwater is carried throughout the ocean and how mesoscale eddies in the ocean are affecting properties like ocean salinity.
Ocean temperature profile

Mixed Layers In the Ocean (00:04:15)  Asking Questions and Defining Problems Analyzing and Interpreting Data 
In this video, Julius Busecke, currently a Ph.D student at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory, explains what a pycnocline is and why it is an important part of the mixed layer in the ocean.
SPURS float data

Learn how (and why) sea surface temperature and salinity might be varying at the SPURS site in the Atlantic Ocean.
The global water cycle

Why Care About Ocean Salinity? (00:04:37)  Asking Questions and Defining Problems Constructing Explanations and Designing Solutions Obtaining, Evaluating, and Communicating Information 
In this clip, Dr. Stephen Riser explains that ocean salinity is a way to better understand the global water cycle. Salinity plays a role in determining seawater density, which can determine where water travels throughout the oceans.
Global water reservoirs and fluxes

Why Worry About the Ocean? (00:01:05)  Developing and Using Models Engaging in Argument From Evidence 
In this clip, Ph.D student Julius Busecke walks us through why we should be concerned about the ocean, due, in part, to evaporation and precipitation. Although we think of these processes as largely land-based phenomena, they actually take place on a much larger scale over the ocean.