Penn StateNASA

Goals and Learning Outcomes

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Goals

On completing this module, students are expected to be able to:

  • Describe surface and deep ocean properties
  • Explain how surface and deep ocean circulation work
  • Illustrate how ocean circulation affect weather and climate
  • Predict changes in key ocean parameters and circulation patterns as a result of climate change
  • Interpret deep sea circulation patterns from water column properties

Learning Outcomes

After completing this module, students should be able to answer the following questions:

  • What is the warmest temperature in the oceans today?
  • What is the coldest temperature in the oceans today?
  • What factors impact salinity of surface ocean waters?
  • What is primary productivity and what controls it?
  • What factors control dissolved oxygen contents of ocean waters?
  • What factors control dissolved CO2 contents of ocean waters?
  • What drives surface ocean circulation?
  • What are the Coriolis effect, gyres, upwelling and downwelling?
  • How do deep water masses form?
  • What are the major deep water masses in the oceans and their properties?
  • What is the significance of the Global Conveyor Belt, deep water aging, properties of the oldest waters in the ocean?
  • What is ENSO?
  • What are the impacts of ENSO on global weather patterns?