### 3 The Ocean Shapes Life in the Pacific Ocean Surface Currents

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3 The Ocean Shapes Life in the Pacific
Read Section 3, and complete the notes below.
• Around the map, write two facts to explain how ocean surface currents work. Draw a line
connecting each fact to the appropriate part of the map. An example is done for you.
160°W 140°W 120°W 100°W 80°W 60°W 40°W 20°W
80°N
60°N
NORTH
AMERICA
60°E
EUROPE
ASIA
Ca
ATLANTIC
OCEAN
Japa
n
lf S
Gu
80°E 100°E 120°E 140°E 160°E
tic
m
C a lif
20°N
n
Atla
40°E
a
tre
o r nia
40°N
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Nor
20°E
ry
North Pacific
0°
Currents moving away from
the equator act as heating
systems. They warm the air in areas that might otherwise be cooler.
na
push currents
along the equator,
where the sun
warms the
water.
Ocean Surface Currents
PACIFIC
OCEAN
AFRICA
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North Equatori
N or
th Eq
uatorial
0° Equator
South Equatorial
40°S
0
1,500 3,000 kilometers
Robinson projection
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INDIAN
OCEAN
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ua
Eq
AUSTRALIA
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ATLANTIC
OCEAN
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ut
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3,000 miles
Peru
1,500
0
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PACIFIC
OCEAN
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guela
Ben
SOUTH
AMERICA
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W
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60°S
Cold current
West Wind Drift
West Wind Drift
Warm current
ANTARCTICA
80°S
When warm currents near the
equator hit land in the Northern
Hemisphere, they turn north. In the
Southern Hemisphere, they turn south.
Wind moves the
water on the ocean’s
surface. This creates
currents that move
in circular patterns,
like the winds.
• Explain why islands in the Pacific have warm temperatures and lots of rain.
Pacific islands are mostly in warm equatorial waters. Warm air can hold a lot of
moisture. Warm ocean water evaporates easily to provide that moisture. As the
wet, warm air rises, it forms rain clouds. This means the islands in the area have
tropical wet climates where it rains a lot. Islands farther from the equator are
cooler and drier.
• In the space below, quickly sketch and label four resources found in the Pacific.
Sketches might include fish (food), sea sponges or marine snails (medicine),
oysters (pearls), metal ores, oil, or natural gas.
The Pacific Islands: Adapting to Life Surrounded by Ocean
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4 Life on a Continental Island: New Zealand
Step 1: Examine the continental island maps your class created. Take notes below
based on what you learn from the maps.
Step 2: Read Section 4. Use what you
learned in both Sections 2 and 4 to
• Around the drawing of a continental
of island. Draw a line from each fact to
an appropriate part of the island. Add
to the drawing if it helps illustrate your
facts. An example is done for you.
• Listed below are four features of New
Zealand. Describe each feature. Include
at least two facts in each of your descriptions.
physical features: Mountains dominate New Zealand’s two large islands.
The North Island has rivers, lakes, hot springs, and geysers. On the South
Island, the Southern Alps are covered by snow all year, and the west coast
has fjords. New Zealand also has lots of fertile land.
Large cities can
usually be found on
continental islands.
climate: Temperatures are moderate all year. Most days are sunny, but the
islands receive regular rain. The warm, moist winds blow from west to east. The
western slopes of the mountains can get more than 200 inches of rain per year.
The eastern side gets only 25 inches a year.
economy: Sheep are a major industry. Fishing is another important part of New
Zealand’s economy. The islands also attract many tourists.
human adaptations: Most New Zealanders live on the North Island and in cities.
People wear cooler clothes in the summer and warmer clothes in the winter.
There is outdoor recreation like skiing, hiking, surfing, sailing, swimming, fishing,
kayaking, and white-water rafting. People travel by car, train, bus, and airplane.
• Which features make New Zealand a classic continental island? New Zealand
was once part of a larger landmass. The movement of tectonic plates broke the
landmass apart to form Antarctica, Australia, and several continental islands.
Like most continental islands, New Zealand is relatively large.
The Pacific Islands: Adapting to Life Surrounded by Ocean
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5 Life on a Volcanic Island: Tahiti
Step 1: Examine the volcanic island maps your class created. Take notes below
based on what you learn from the maps.
Step 2: Read Section 5. Use what you
learned in both Sections 2 and 5 to
• Around the drawing of a volcanic island,
Draw a line from each fact to an appropriate
part of the island. Add to the drawing if
it helps illustrate your facts. An example
is done for you.
• Include at least two facts in each of
physical features: Tahiti is made up of two inactive volcanoes,
Tahiti Nui (Big Tahiti) and Tahiti Iti (Small Tahiti). An isthmus
connects them. The land on both parts rises steeply from the
coast to the volcano craters. There are waterfalls and cliffs
on the steep land.
Volcanic islands are created
when volcanoes break through
the ocean floor. Lava and ash
build up on the ocean floor,
rising to above sea level.
climate: Tahiti has two seasons. The wet season, from
November to April, brings most of the annual rain, and temperatures are in the 80s. During
the dry season, from May to October, temperatures are slightly lower.
economy: Only Tahiti’s coastal plain is flat enough to grow crops, like breadfruit, coconut
palms, citrus fruits, and orchids. Because of its growing population, Tahitians import most
of what they eat. The economy depends on the ocean, which attracts tourism, produces black
pearls, and supports commercial fishing.
human adaptations: Most Tahitians live on Tahiti Nui, where the crowded city of Papeete is.
Other parts are less built up, and some people still live in traditional villages. Houses are larger
and sturdier than in the past. Casual, modern clothes have replaced the traditional pareu. For
recreation, people scuba dive, snorkel, surf, hike, ride horses, and hang glide. They travel to and
from Tahiti on planes and use cars and buses on the island.
• What features make Tahiti a classic volcanic island? Tahiti is made up of two inactive volcanoes.
The volcanoes are cone shaped, with steep slopes rising to high peaks.
The Pacific Islands: Adapting to Life Surrounded by Ocean
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6 Life on an Atoll: Kwajalein Island
Step 1: Examine the atoll maps your class created. Take notes below
based on what you learn from the maps.
Step 2: Read Section 6. Use what you
learned in both Sections 2 and 6 to
• Around the drawing of an atoll,
island. Draw a line from each fact
to an appropriate part of the island.
Add to the drawing if it helps illustrate
your facts. An example is done for you.
• Listed below are four features of Kwajalein
Island. Describe each feature. Include at
least two facts in each of your descriptions.
Atolls have very
low elevations.
physical features: Kwajalein is the largest coral atoll in the world. Its
97 islands cover only 6.5 square miles. The atoll surrounds a large lagoon.
It has a very low elevation. Because the island is so small and low, there are
no rivers or springs.
climate: Kwajalein has a tropical wet climate. Temperatures are almost always in the 80s,
and rain falls daily during both the wet and “dry” seasons. Showers don’t last as long during
the drier months. Tropical storms can cause storm surges, but coral reefs protect the islands
from flooding.
economy: There is little agriculture, but coconut palms, breadfruit, and arrowroot are grown.
Copra, or dried coconut meat, is the main product, and fish is an important food. The economy
is based on the U.S. military base located on the island. Tourism is also important.
human adaptations: Fourteen of the atoll’s islands are inhabited. Most travel on Kwajalein Island
is on bicycles, which rust quickly in the wet weather. Ferries and planes link people to the other
islands and the outside world. Residents live in trailers, concrete and wooden houses, and dome
houses, all of which are owned by the U.S. military. They wear casual, modern clothes and enjoy
scuba diving, sailing, windsurfing, sport fishing, and common American activities like volleyball,
softball, and bowling.
• What features makes Kwajalein Atoll a classic atoll?
Kwajalein Atoll is a low-lying ring of coral islands and reefs surrounding a shallow lagoon.