Video Micro-lecture: Oceans, Ocean Circulation and Sea Surface Temperatures

A video lecture by Raghu Murtugudde​, University of Maryland that introduces basic concepts in oceanography. This video lecture is part of a MOOC titled ‘Climate Change’ and has been developed by the National Resource Centre on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune, India.

Students will learn basic concepts of oceanography such as trade winds, atmospheric pressure, Thermohaline circulation (THC), Walker circulation, upwelling and downwelling, Coriolis effect, and gyres amongst others. Through the use of ocean cycles and models, students will be able to chart the changes in surface temperature patterns and relate that to carbon dioxide and methane concentrations over time.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. Discuss the role of the oceans and ocean circulation with respect to the climate of the Earth.
  2. Why is the rate of change in sea surface temperature different for the Antarctic ocean when compared to other oceans?

About the Tool

Tool NameW04 C03 P05 L03 Climate Change on Historical Timescales Lecture 03
DisciplineEarth Sciences
Topic(s) in DisciplineOceanography, Ocean Circulation, Currents, Sea Surface Temperature, Thermohaline Circulation, Coriolis, Trade Winds
Climate TopicClimate and the Hydrosphere; Climate and Atmosphere,  Climate Variability Record; Long-term Cycles and Feedback Mechanisms
Type of toolVideo (44 mins)
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
Developed byNational Resource Centre (NCR) at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER)
Hosted atIISER Pune Channel on YouTube
Computer SkillsBasic

Reading: The climate in our hands – Ocean and Cryosphere

The Office for Climate Education (OCE) presents a Teachers Guidebook that aims to support teachers in carrying out various activities on climate change and the ocean and cryosphere in their classrooms, and targets students of ages 9 to 15. 

E-Learning Courses on Climate Change

Series of two E-Learning Courses on Introduction to Climate Change and Climate Science

Following are two online courses in Climate Change and Climate Science by the National Resource Centre (NRC) on Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Pune as part of the Annual Refresher Programme in Teaching (ARPIT), Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development, Government of India.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Permafrost and Climate Change

A set of hands-on classroom and computer-based activities for students to learn about permafrost and to explore various web-based scientific data portals to investigate permafrost distribution, characteristics of permafrost, and the effects of thawing permafrost on the atmosphere and the environment.

Video Micro-lecture: Ocean Buffer Chemistry

A video micro-lecture that explains carbonate buffering in the ocean. It includes discussions on the changes in the chemical composition of the ocean caused by a higher concentration of dissolved CO2, ocean acidification and the resulting effect on ocean biota.

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Reconstruction of Paleoclimate by Using Isotopic Composition Data

A classroom/laboratory activity to learn about the isotopes of hydrogen and oxygen, analyze the isotopic composition of ice, and understand how isotopic compositions can be used to recreate past temperatures and climate.

Students will plot graphs to analyze data from the Vostok ice core in Antarctica, learn about the ice age and the gas age, calculate past temperatures using hydrogen isotope data, and discuss the possible impacts of changes in carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) concentrations on climate.

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. How can you use hydrogen isotope data in an ice core to determine temperature?
  2. How can the isotopic composition of air bubbles in ice cores be used to recreate past climate?

About the Tool

Tool Name Lab: Vostok Ice Core
Discipline Chemistry, Earth Sciences
Topic(s) in Discipline Isotopes, Isotopic Ratios, Isotopic Composition in paloeclimate reconstructions
Climate Topic Climate and the Cryosphere, Climate Variability Record
Type of Tool Laboratory Activity
Grade Level Undergraduate
Location Antarctica
Vostok Station
Language English
Developed by  Stephanie Pfirman, Barnard College
Hosted at Columbia University: The Climate System course taught by Peter Schlosser, Stephanie Pfirman, Mingfang Ting, Jason Smerdon
Access Online, Offline
Computer Skills Intermediate

Classroom/Laboratory Activity: Climate Change, the Cryosphere, and Rising Sea Levels

A classroom/laboratory activity that introduces the relationship between climate and the cryosphere, explains how sea-level rise can be predicted (based on average global temperature change), and triggers a discussion on the potential impacts of sea-level rise.