We are Going to Find Drake! Sort of…

OK, well, we are not really looking for Drake, but our team is the 26.5 N Team so we will be researching the waters of this line of latitude. Our first step was to see where 26.5 N is:

A view across 26.5N
265-n

Florida, Bahamas, and the Continental Shelf

zoom-florida-caribian

Mid Atlantic Ridge

265n-mar

African Coast

265-n-a

This line of latitude is important for several reasons:

1.) The Gulf Stream moves northward over by the Floridian Coast (red line):

ocean-currents

  • The Gulf Stream is important because it is a major factor in heat transfer from the South to the North. Without the Gulf Stream the weather in the Northern Hemisphere would be drastically different!

2.) The North Atlantic Deep Water runs South toward the equator (blue line):

  • The NADW is important because the cold salty water from the North travels south and changes temperature and salinity of waters it encounters

3.) This line of latitude has significance in climate change:

  • Ocean circulation and weather/climate are directly correlated and with all of these different currents running past 26.5N it is a great line of latitude to focus our research on.
  • The transfer of warm water from the Gulf to the North and the movement of the cold and salty North Atlantic Deep Water from the North to the South are important areas to study.
  • Any climate change will be seen in the change in chemistry and physics of the water and currents in this area.

Example of significance in research:

  • If the Gulf Stream moves more warm water than usual to the North then the ice in the North may start to melt and dump large amounts of fresh water into the ocean disrupting the NADW circulation.

4.) There are also a series of moorings along 26.5N that are recording the current's velocities, salinity, and temperature. Drake is also somewhere around 26.5N, or at least before the malfunction we were trying to fly along these moorings at 26.5N!

drake

Chris Filosa, Frank Acevedo, Katie Carson

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