This video outlines how plate tectonics moved North and South America to where they are today. The video also depicts how plate tectonics influenced the migration of ancient species, resulting in the species we see today. It also explains how the global water conveyer belt moves warm water around the world, which contributes to the climate on the east coast of North America.
2. Why Watch This Video?
- Have you ever wondered how ocean water temperature influences climate change?
- Would you like to know how North and South America came to be adjoined?
- Have you ever been confused by plate tectonics?
3. Key Terms
- Plate tectonics: the process by which continents move, sometimes causing them to collide.
- Intercontinental migration: when a species migrates to a new continent.
- Thermohaline circulation: when differences in the heat and salt content of ocean currents drive a “global conveyer belt” of ocean currents that transports warm water around the world.
4. Loose Ends
Loose end #1: Why is there a difference in temperature in the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean?
The Pacific Ocean is warmer than the Atlantic because it is wider along the equator, allowing more time for the water to heat up travelling along the equator, before moving to the poles.
Loose end #2: How does the conveyer belt affect the continent’s climate?
The conveyer belt affects the climate because the warm water being transported in ocean currents warms the atmosphere.
Loose end #3: Why did some mammals go extinct when the plates collided?
Many mammals went extinct because of competition between species that had never encountered each other before, and as a result of evolution new ecosystems.