Part A: Earth's Ocean: A storage Unit for Heat

Three-quarters of Earth's surface is covered with a substance that is a really effective heat-storage material—water. Liquid H2O have the right to absorb and store a incredible amount that heat energy without coming to be too hot itself. The efficiency of a problem at storing heat energy depends on a parameter called specific heat.

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Specific heat is a measure up of just how much energy something absorbs compared to how hot it gets. Much more precisely, the particular heat of a problem is the lot of power it takes come raise the temperature that 1 gram of the substance through 1 level Celsius.

Watch a short video clip from the demonstrates a "trick" that counts on the high details heat the water.

Quantifying details Heat

Quantitative experiments show that 4.18 Joules that heat energy are forced to progressive the temperature of 1g the water by 1°C. Thus, a liter (1000g) the water that raised from 24 come 25°C has absorbed 4.18 J/g°C x 1000g x 1°C or 4180 Joules that energy. For comparison, alcohol (ethanol) has actually a lower certain heat: the takes only 2.2 Joules of energy to increase the temperature that one gram that ethanol by one degree Celsius.

To calculation the lot of heat energy gained or shed by a substance, multiply the fixed of the substance by its details heat consistent multiplied by the change in temperature.


watch the beginning of this animation and also note the Gulf Stream current moving north in the Atlantic Ocean and the entire Atlantic s warming up together the seasons change. As you clock the animation, holy ghost visualize the current as a river of warmth energy. Pause at around 24 secs in and also play again native 10 secs to watch the year repeat. Usage the an essential for Sea surface Temperature in ~ the right.

Watch the remainder that the animation to view a visualization of what is referred to as the Sea surface Temperature Anomaly in the Gulf Stream. Anomaly indicates how much warmer or chillier the s surface was compared to normal. At right is a various color vital (Ocean Temperature Departure) for reference.

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Once you've viewed the video, review this NOAA NESDIS post to learn much more about the data in this animation.

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