Chapter 4: Global Climates & Biomes - Lesson 3: Air Currents

Chapter 4: Global Climates & Biomes - Lesson 3: Air Currents


Explain the forces that drive global circulation patterns and how those patterns determine weather and climate.

Global climate patterns are driven by a combination of unequal heating of Earth by the Sun, atmospheric convection currents, the rotation of Earth and the Coriolis effect, Earth's orbit around the Sun on a tilted axis, and ocean currents.  The unequal heating of Earth is the driver of atmospheric convection currents.  These air curculation patterns are further modified by the deflecting action of the Coriolis effect.  The tilt of Earth's axis of rotation causes seasonal changes in temperature and precipitation as Earth orbits the Sun.  Ocean currents are driven by a combination of temperature, gravity, prevailing winds, the Coriolis effect, and the locations of continents.  Together, prevailing winds and ocean currents distribute heat and precipitation around the globe.

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Chapter 4 Lesson 3 Sticky Note Vide

Follow along and take sticky notes along with Mrs. Schaelling. Remember, you can always add more if you need more detail from the book. Also, if you're struggling with the material you can watch the supplemental videos below to ensure your understanding. Finally, don't forget to ask questions. As much as she'd like to be, Mrs. Schaelling can't read minds.

NASA | The Ocean: A Driving Force for Weather and Climate

The Ocean is essential to life on Earth. Most of Earth's water is stored in the ocean. Although 40 percent of Earth's population lives within, or near coastal regions- the ocean impacts people everywhere. Without the ocean, our planet would be uninhabitable. This animation helps to convey the importance of Earth's oceanic processes as one component of Earth's interrelated systems.

What Exactly Is El Niño?

Have you ever wondered what El Niño is? Trace was curious and decided to do some digging to figure out what exactly it is.

Oceanic Layers and Zones

An excerpt from Episode 4 of our Endless Ocean Let's Play.

Chapter 4 Lesson 3 WSQ

Complete this WSQ after you watch Mrs. Schaelling's Chapter 4 Lesson 3 Video. This should be done before you come to class.

DOK Question Stems

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