Wind and Ocean Circulation
Greg Shirah, Horace Mitchell, Thomas and Lucas, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center Scientific Visualization Studio
Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»
See how this Animation supports the Next Generation Science Standards»
Middle School: 3 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 3 Cross Cutting Concepts, 2 Science and Engineering Practices
High School: 2 Disciplinary Core Ideas, 2 Cross Cutting Concepts, 1 Science and Engineering Practice
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Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy |
- The visualization could be paired with sections of the film http://www.dynamicearth.spitzcreativemedia.com/ to show the connections of the wind and currents to Earth's entire system .
- Educator will have to reinforce with younger audiences how the visualization connects to the Earth's climate system. Visualization can be paused during viewing for educator to reinforce points of understanding.
- Educator will need to explain what processes are being illustrated in the images.
- CLEAN resource called the Global Ocean Conveyor Belt found http://www.andrill.org/education/elf_activities_3A.html could pair with this visualization nicely and reinforce concepts.
About the Science
- The images in the visualizations begin by displaying Earth's global wind patterns, then zoom in to reveal the connections to high-speed ocean currents.
- The animation uses data from computational models: wind patterns are from the MERRA computational model of the atmosphere; ocean currents are from the ECCO-2 computational model of the oceans and ice.
- Comments from expert scientist: It is a neat video. Got the 'wow' factor when it goes under the surface of the ocean. I would show it to students, especially if you're on the East Coast.
About the Pedagogy
- This animation is a great way to visualize wind and ocean circulation patterns. The high quality of the animation is engaging and would be very useful to explain complex processes that are hard to imagine.
- The visualization can be paired with the movie trailer found here http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs051/1101986886992/archive/1109187145138.html and http://www.dynamicearth.spitzcreativemedia.com/
- A teachers' guide to accompany the movie topics can be found at http://www.spitzinc.com/fulldome_shows/show_dynamicearth/resources/DynamicEarth-EducatorsGuide.pdf