That Sinking Feeling
Source: NOAA National Weather Service
[09-Aug-2022] Ocean water is salty and, in general, cold. Differences in the water density associated with temperature and salinity are vital in shaping the Great Ocean Conveyor, which describes global pathways of ocean water circulation over time. Each winter, in the far North Atlantic Ocean as new sea ice forms, the salt that is left behind in the ocean makes the water very dense. This dense water sinks to the ocean floor and is the "engine" for Great Ocean Conveyor's motion. Using ice cubes made with both salty and fresh water and food dyes, this activity visually demonstrates how salinity and temperature affect the density of water, and is accessible to a wide range of learners.
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