What Flows Around Comes Around

Weather & Climate
Pacific Garbage Patch; climate change, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas, pollution, coriolis
75 minutes (5 15-minute quests)

While researching marine life around the newly-opened island, Leilani discovers a piece of trash. Worried that this may mean that a floating garbage patch has already accumulated near Espeth, Leilani asks the player for help understanding how currents function, and what impact this has on the planet.

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Standards Covered

MS-ESS2-6. Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.

Anchoring Phenomena & Topics Covered

Pacific Garbage Patch; climate change, greenhouse effect, greenhouse gas, pollution, coriolis

Real World Connections

This storyline is based on the anchoring phenomenon of the Pacific Garbage Patch, using that to build an understanding of global patterns of heat and air distribution. This storyline opens conversations about pollution and human impacts on the ocean ecosystem.

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The Garbage Patch

Investigate the phenomenon of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and learn why it persisted for so long. How did it remain in the middle of the ocean for decades without ever washing ashore? Players study patterns in the currents around the Garbage Patch on Earth, then apply their findings to Ovo to see where a new Garbage Patch would be most likely to form.

Rotation and Flotation

Curious about the phenomenon of predictable current patterns in general, Leilani asks the player to do more research into the mechanisms behind the macro-patterns formed in the ocean. Previous storyline knowledge can be used to understand the interplay between hot and cold.

To Everything, There is a Season

Unequal heating of the Earth does more than make the water currents behave in a certain way. Players also learn about the ways that the Earth's tilted axis comes to bear on weather patterns, as well as regional climates.

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