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Further Investigation: Effects of Surface Currents

  1. Some scientific observations or measurements are easy to take, for example the weight of a coin or the length of a string. But some scientific data can be very difficult to collect accurately. How do scientists accurately measure sea level height across entire ocean basins or around the entire world? How do these measurements take into account the effects of waves, storms, and tides?
  2. Investigate one real-world coastal community or island nation currently affected by changes in sea level. How are people in these communities coping with rising sea levels?
  3. Research the role of upwelling in supporting marine life in different locations around the globe.
  4. Coastal upwelling does not occur on all coastlines. Provide some examples of coastlines without upwelling and explain why you think they do not have this phenomenon.
  5. Investigate recent and historic El Niño events.
    1. What kinds of things were reported in the news related to El Niño?
    2. What kind of effects could we expect El Niño to have on the ocean, on local and world climate, and on economies of nations?
    3. What are some consequences of “extreme” El Niño events?

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Exploring Our Fluid Earth, a product of the Curriculum Research & Development Group (CRDG), College of Education. University of Hawaii, 2011. This document may be freely reproduced and distributed for non-profit educational purposes.