Idea for Use in the Classroom

Have students study the currents in the Global Conveyor Belt infographic. As they view the infographic, ask students to consider the following questions: Do you see that the oceans (Arctic, Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian) are connected? What does this mean for marine life in the ocean? What does this mean for how we can treat ocean pollution? 

After studying the currents, have students use information from the infographic to write a travel journal detailing their journey along the global conveyor belt and what they experience along the way. Instruct students to write at least six entries with the itinerary beginning and ending near Greenland. Tell students that they must include Antarctica and a point near the equator. Have them consider how long their journey will take. Encourage students to research the different animals and landforms they might see at each location on their journey. As they write, ask students to include the following information:

  • Where will you sink toward the ocean floor?
  • Where will you rise?
  • Describe what the transition feels like from a surface current to a deeper current and vice versa.
  • Describe how it feels when traveling along cold currents versus warm currents.
  • What makes those currents colder or warmer?

If time permits, have students write an entry about how climate change slowed down or stalled their journey.

 

Noun

gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

marine
Adjective

having to do with the ocean.

ocean current
Noun

continuous, predictable, directional movement of seawater.

Noun

introduction of harmful materials into the environment.

thermohaline circulation
Noun

ocean conveyor belt system in which water moves between the cold depths and warm surface in oceans throughout the world.