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Further Investigations: Ocean Temperature Profiles

  1. Prepare a demonstration that shows why the surface of the ocean is much warmer near the equator than near the north and south poles.
  2. Consult references to explain the technology for obtaining energy by using the difference in temperatures between layers of water in the ocean using Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology.
  3. Anchialine (Greek for near the sea) ponds are unusual natural ponds with warm salt water on the bottom and cool fresh water on the top and are found on some volcanic islands near the ocean. Propose a hypothesis to explain how these ponds form. Research some of the organisms that are able to thrive in these unique habitats.
  4. A reverse thermocline occurs when the deep-water layer is warmer than the upper water layer. Research where and when reverse thermoclines occur.
  5. Fishermen know that some kinds of fish prefer colder or saltier water. How could understanding vertical ocean profiles help a fisherman determine at what depth to set their fishing lines?

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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.