How Do Ocean Currents Transfer Heat?

The oceans transfer heat by their currents, which take hot water from the equator up to higher latitudes and cold water back down toward the equator. Due to this transfer of heat, climate near large bodies of water is often extreme and at times, unpredictable.

The temperatures of the world’s oceans are constantly being monitored by agencies such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). They monitor things like water temperature, wind speed and water circulation to try to determine the effect the ocean’s heat has on the weather.

Scientists have determined that the oceans play a huge part in transferring heat to the poles, which in turn determines the weather. Heat from the oceans travel throughout the atmosphere, and when the air that comes in contact with the ocean is a different temperature than the water, heat transfer occurs. The oceans soak up heat from the sun and when it rains, it releases heat into the atmosphere.