There are a number of factors that determine the horizontal distribution of temperature. There is a general decrease in temperature from the equator towards poles. The isotherms over certain part of the globe are closely spaced. While
elsewhere they are widely spaced. There are other factors also affecting the distribution of the temperature like,
a) Differential heating of land and water b) Effect of ocean currents c) Mountain barriers.
- On average, the temperature of the ocean’s surface water is around 27-degree Celsius. The temperature gradually reduces as we start from the equator and move towards the poles
- The temperature decreases by 0.5-degrees per latitude as the latitude increases
- At 20-degree latitude, the temperature is about 22-degree Celsius on average. At 40-degree latitude, the temperature reduces to 14-degree Celsius. The temperature drops at 0-degree Celsius at the poles
- The oceans that fall in the southern hemisphere usually have a lesser temperature than the oceans of the northern hemisphere
- The temperature is the highest towards the north of the equator
- The annual temperatures of southern and northern hemispheres are 16-degree Celsius and 19-degree Celsius respectively. The difference exists due to the irregular distribution of water and land in these hemispheres
- The ocean has the maximum temperature at its surface as the sun’s heat is transmitted directly to the surface. The heat reaches to the lower surface through a process known as convection
- As we move closer to the depth of 200 metres, the fall in temperature is quite steep. However, the rate of fall in temperature slows down after that
FAQs related with Horizontal Distribution Of Temperature in The Oceans
Ques 1.What factors contribute to the horizontal distribution of temperature in the oceans?
Answer: The horizontal distribution of temperature in the oceans is influenced by several factors. These include solar radiation, wind patterns, ocean currents, and proximity to land masses. Solar radiation heats the surface of the ocean, creating temperature gradients. Wind patterns and ocean currents then distribute this heat horizontally, affecting the temperature distribution across different regions. Additionally, coastal areas tend to experience temperature variations due to their proximity to land, which can influence the horizontal distribution of temperature.
Ques 2. How does El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) impact the horizontal distribution of temperature in the oceans?
Answer: ENSO is a climate pattern characterized by the periodic warming (El Niño) and cooling (La Niña) of the central and eastern tropical Pacific Ocean. During El Niño events, warm water from the western Pacific flows eastward, leading to higher surface temperatures in the eastern Pacific and affecting the horizontal distribution of temperature. Conversely, during La Niña events, colder water upwells in the eastern Pacific, resulting in cooler surface temperatures in that region. These changes in ocean temperature distribution during ENSO events can have significant impacts on global weather patterns.
Ques 3. How do ocean currents contribute to the horizontal distribution of temperature?
Answer : Ocean currents play a crucial role in redistributing heat and affecting the horizontal distribution of temperature in the oceans. Warm ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream in the North Atlantic, carry warm water from the tropics toward higher latitudes, thereby raising the temperature in those regions. Cold ocean currents, such as the California Current off the western coast of the United States, transport cold water from higher latitudes towards the equator, leading to cooler temperatures in those areas. These ocean currents act as conveyer belts, moving heat across different regions and influencing the horizontal temperature distribution in the oceans.
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