Learning Objective of Expedition: Examine and establish the connection between ocean circulation and climate at a variety of geographic and time scales.
The ocean, and its circulation, exerts a fundamental influence on climate locally in the bay area, and on a global scale as well.
Hardly a day goes by that the news isn't filled with major weather events that are influenced by ocean circulation. Some examples are the summer fog in the bay area, the strong afternoon wind in our spring and summer, El Nino events appear increasingly more often, devastating hurricanes on the eastern U.S. coast, typhoons in Asia and a host of other climatic phenomena that are borne over the ocean.
Listen to how the ocean is used to forecast climate
In the previous expedition we learned that the California current is an eastern boundary current bringing cold water southward along California.
Let's begin to examine by studying the boundary currents on each side of North America, which have dramatically different effects....think of the difference in climate between San Francisco, which is influenced by the California current, and New York during August, which is affected by the Gulf Stream.