The Briny Deep
map below shows the global distribution of the intensity of solar radiation.
Note that the scale of radiation intensity in watts per square
meter (w/m2 or wm-2) is shown at the bottom of image with reddish
to orange colors indicating high values of solar radiation and green colors indicating low values.
Used with Permission of Matthias Tomczak ©Copyright 1997
Where is the sun's radiation most intense along the surface
of the earth? Where would you expect to find the highest temperature
waters in the ocean? Do you know the source of heat in the ocean? Complete the diagram in your
- The equatorial or tropical regions experience the highest
levels of solar radiation, primarily due to the distribution of solar energy on a
- Because of the earth's surface curvature, incoming solar
radiation is spread over increasingly larger surface areas (kilometer2) as one
proceeds from the equator towards the pole, thereby creating a gradient of decreasing air
temperature, and therefore decreasing ocean temperature, from the equator to the pole.