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I guess the Pacific Ocean evaporates the most water because of its size.

But which of the major oceans evaporates the most water per square meter?

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    $\begingroup$ @Fred not sure why NH summer would be a factor? It gets quite warm in SH summer too (ask Australia), and the solar input is the same (or really slightly more given perihelion). I'd think it'd be whichever ocean has a larger percentage nearer equatorial areas (less near the Arctic), given both temperature itself, and the fact equilibrium vapor pressure rises exponentially with temp (see Clasius-Clapeyron equation). Cloudcover might make it a bit more complex question, limiting input nearest the equator... though that doesn't mean it's not still warm. $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Apr 24 at 17:33
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    $\begingroup$ So looking at maps, it's tough to decide which is the most tropically-heavy. I'm thinking maybe the Pacific, with the bulge into Asia in the South China Sea type area, plus the slant of the SA and NA coasts and Alaska giving it less of the far north. Atlantic also has some warm bulges (Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean), and the Indian may be helped by a further north Antarctica? So any of those. And that is going off the four ocean layout... if you add in a Southern Ocean, then I'd think it has a lot to do with where exactly the boundaries are? $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Apr 24 at 17:39
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    $\begingroup$ Going off dragmetostorm.com/models/sst/avhrr-sst-globe.png, I'm tossing out the relatively cool Atlantic. The Indian going well into the NH but really not much beyond about 30 degrees seems very likely to move it to the front of the list. $\endgroup$ – JeopardyTempest Apr 24 at 17:41
  • $\begingroup$ Hello, make sure to include research and revisions in you're question. Welcome to Earth Science SE! $\endgroup$ – MooseSmart Apr 28 at 14:52
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When push comes to shove, the highest evaporation rate per unut area corresponds to the highest average temperature. As this pair of illustrations from NASA shows, that would be the Indian Ocean.

enter image description here

enter image description here

Simply put, the Indian Ocean misses both polar regions and hits the tropical and subtropical latitudes squarely, so it is warmer overall. Ergo more evaporation.

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