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Warm seas, cold seas, ocean currents

Phytoplankton concentrations
Red and orange indicate high concentrations of phytoplankton. Concentrations decrease as you go down the colour spectrum. Image from NASA’s SeaWiFS mission. Downloaded from

What makes one sea warm and another sea cold? What makes water flow from one part of the world to another? And how does this affect where we find life in the oceans of the world?

In this activity you and your students will:

  • Carry out some simple experiments that explain the basics of ocean currents.
  • Carry out some experiments that show the conditions plant life needs to thrive and how this relates to water temperature.
  • Learn about the impact this has on the diversity and location of marine life.
  • Create maps showing the major ocean currents and life ‘hotspots’.

Download the cold seas, warm seas, ocean currents activity »

This activity is part of a set of resources about the oceans of the world, developed in partnership with DP World, a leading provider of worldwide smart end-to-end supply chain logistics.

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