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2.2B Ocean Circulation and the Arctic Ocean

In this lesson we’ll learn about the climate of the Arctic, and the way the climate interacts with the rest of the Earth system. In Lesson 1, we saw how the Earth receives energy from the sun and how heat is trapped on our planet through the natural greenhouse effect. We will now discuss how this energy is distributed throughout the globe and how it is transferred from the tropics to the poles via the large-scale circulation systems of the atmosphere and the ocean. We’ll learn the difference between the natural and the human-induced greenhouse effect - driven by the input of greenhouse gases created by burning fossil fuels, such as carbon dioxide and methane - and discuss what the future holds for the Arctic’s climate. As you will see, the global climate system is tightly linked and climate change in the Arctic also strongly affects temperate latitudes.

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