Why Study the Ocean?
The Ocean Influences Our Lives in Many Ways
- The CO2 problem, global warming, and the ocean and all
- The ocean strongly influences climate including earth's
surface temperature, by influencing:
- The amount of CO2 in the atmosphere,
- The transport of heat from the tropics to
- The operation of the hydrological cycle,
- Earth's carbon cycles.
- Most of the oxygen in the atmosphere comes from the oceans.
- The oceans may be responsible for abrupt climate change.
- Will global warming plunge the world into the next ice age?
- El Niño and and other oceanic processes change weather patterns.
- The ocean strongly influences weather patterns.
- The largest source of year-to-year change in the weather is
El Niño, which is a disruption of the interaction of the
atmosphere and ocean in the Pacific.
- A change of temperature of surface water in the
western north Pacific and in the tropical Atlantic can cause
drought in Texas, the great plains, and the and west.
- Fisheries and sustainable resources of the ocean are important.
- Roughly 25% of the protein used by people comes from fish.
- So many fish have been taken from the ocean that the fish populations
have collapsed almost everywhere.
- The loss of fish changes the marine food webs.
- Changing food webs affect other life and processes in
- How many fish can be caught?
- Coastal pollution has many consequences.
- Coastal pollution seems to be the cause of large scale harmful
- Pollution also seems to create dead zones in some regions.
- What causes the dead zones off Mississippi in the summer?
- Coastal processes influence beaches and those who live and work
near the beach.
- Beaches are constantly being eroded away.
- Structures along the beach in most areas will be destroyed
in the long run.
- Cost of protecting structures along the beaches is very high.
- Why do some beaches lose so much sand that houses are destroyed.
Here are other reasons both big and small suggested by students
- The ocean is big
- It has lots of water.
- Many factors influence the ocean.
- It influences the hydrological cycle
- Almost all the water that falls
on land evaporates from the ocean.
- Water from the ocean falls as rain.
- Water from the ocean influences weather.
- Coastal erosion
- People living along coasts are concerned about erosion.
- Ocean pollution
- Pollution influences recreational use of the ocean.
- Pollution influences what fish can be eaten safely.
- Fisheries and over fishing
- Many countries and regions depend on fish from the sea.
- People like to watch whales and dolphins.
- Future of climate
- We cannot understand and forecast climate without understanding
- Untapped resources
- The ocean may be a future source of materials or food.
- The ocean may be a source of cobalt, which is found
in sea floor nodules.
- Political issues.
- Who owns the ocean and it's resources?
- Military power depends on oceanic access.
- What is the exclusive economic zone?
- Currents influence commerce.
- They transport heat.
- Nautical Archeology
3 August, 2009