The study of temperature of the ocean is important for studying the movement of large volumes of water, distribution of marine organisms, other properties such as salinity. This distribution pattern can be studied under vertical and horizontal distribution.
Factors responsible for variation in horizontal distribution:
- The average temperature of surface water of the ocean is about 270C and it gradually decreases from the equator towards pole.
- The rate of decrease of temperature with increasing latitude is generally 0.50C per latitude.
- The oceans in the northern hemisphere records relatively higher temperature than in southern hemisphere.
- The Horizontal temperature distribution is shown by isothermal lines, lines joining places of equal temperature. Isotherms are closely spaced when the temperature difference is high.