Sources of Ocean heat

Radiation from the sun and sky:

  • The short-wave radiation that reaches the sea surface comes partly directly from the sun and partly from the sky as reflected or scattered radiation.
  • The amount of radiation energy which is absorbed per unit volume in the sea depends upon the amount of energy that reaches the sea surface, the reflection from the sea surface, and the absorption coefficients for total energy.
  • The incoming radiation depends mainly upon the altitude of the sun, the absorption in the atmosphere, and the cloudiness.
  • With a clear sky and a high sun, about 85 per cent of the radiation comes directly from the sun and about 15 per cent from the sky, but with a low sun the proportion from the sky is greater, reaching about 40 per cent of the total with the sun 10 degrees above the horizon.


Processes that Heat Ocean Water

  • Absorption of radiation from the sun and the sky
  • Convection of heat through the ocean bottom , from the interior of the earth.
  • Transformation of kinetic energy to heat.
  • Heating due to chemical processes.
  • Convection of sensible heat from the atmosphere.
  • Condensation of water vapor.


Processes That Cool Ocean Water

  • Back radiation from the sea surface
  • Convection of sensible heat to the atmosphere
  • Evaporation