How oceans affect earth’s temperature?
Oceans form more than 70% of the Earth’s surface. Around 97% of the Earth’s water source is the oceans. This water in the oceans has a major role in affecting the weather and temperature of the earth’s surface. They help moderate the Earth’s temperature through absorption of solar radiation which is stored as heat energy. Additionally, oceans also help in soaking up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. Moreover, the moving oceans currents help distribute this absorbed heat energy across the land surface. So, with all these functions, how do oceans affect earth’s weather and temperature?
The ocean is widely responsible for absorbing the heat from the atmosphere. Due to global warming in the recent decades, oceans are getting much heater because of the emission of greenhouse gases. It is estimated that 80-90 percent of the heat from global warming is actually going to the ocean. The oceans are earth’s heat bucket and they have the capacity of absorbing 1000 times the heat as the atmosphere, without much changing its temperature. The reason for this is the extended heat capacity of oceans. However, when the oceans warm up too much, the ocean currents carry it back to the land surface, affecting the temperature.
The ocean currents are also another reason for temperature change. The Great Ocean Conveyor Belt is the major ocean currents that moves heat to and fro the equator and the poles. The warm water from the equator is moved to the poles while, the cold water from the poles are moved back towards the equator. This shift of heat waves by the ocean currents causes changes in sea level and affects the temperature and climate of the land surface nearby.
When the oceans get most of the heat energy from the atmosphere, it affects the climate of the nearby places. For instance, the Atlantic Ocean in the north carries heat way up to the North Atlantic Ocean’s cold waters. The deep cold waters get replaced by warm water, causing the Great Ocean Conveyor Belt to get heated. As a result, the heat carried to the North Atlantic oceans warms the winter time, thereby warming the nearby countries of European continent.
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