NASA Image: Global Ocean Wind Energy Potential

NASA scientists measured wind speeds by season, and then calculated the wind power density, the amount of energy that could be derived from a wind turbine in a given location. Their maps for the winter and summer seasons could be used with your students to talk about not only where the greatest ocean wind energy potential exists but also how wind  strength is influenced by seasonal patterns, land-ocean interactions, land topography, and ocean temperatures. All of these interactions are evident in this pair of images. Areas of high wind power density, where winds are strongest, are purple, while low power density regions are light blue and white.

If you use this image with your students, please post a comment on how you incorporate this image into your teaching.

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