How Can One Ocean Climate Affect the Whole North Atlantic?
ES2403  The Effect of the Gulf Stream on Northern European Climate

This map shows SST averaged over an entire year.

  !   Click the "Gulf Stream" and "North Atlantic Drift" buttons to show the locations of those ocean currents on the SST map. Observe temperatures along the path of the Gulf Stream and the North Atlantic Drift.

TERC, Visual Earth

Water has the capacity to "absorb" heat and transport it over great distances before releasing it. The Gulf Stream is able to carry heat from locations near the equator all the way to northern latitudes that are usually associated with cold climates.

Consider the location of cities listed on your data sheet, and examine the temperatures for each location in January and July.

4. Explain the effect of the Gulf Stream on the climate of coastal northern European cities.


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