Welcome to Oceanography
Oceanography is the study of the deep sea and shallow coastal oceans. The branches such as biology, chemistry, geology and physics together make oceanography a richly interdisciplinary science. Oceans do not operate alone but interacts with the atmosphere, continents and ice-cover.
Physical Oceanography is the study of physical processes in the oceans and its interaction with land, ice and atmosphere by applying fundamental laws of physics.
Why Oceans are Important?
- Ocean environments supports a large number of different species of organisms (biodiversity)
- The continental shelves and ocean floor are home to many important minerals including oil and natural gas.
- Oceans are better means of transport. Without oceans, transportation of goods from place to place would be much more difficult and expensive.
- Oceans affect global weather and climate. Warm ocean waters provide the energy to fuel storm systems. Land-sea contrast affects the weather of coastal areas.
- Oceans are vital to our economy. More than 66% of the world's population lives within 100 kilometers of the coastline. Ocean-related services generate about 54 billion dollars per year.
- Military applications
- Natural hazards (cyclone, tsunami, coastal erosion, storm surges)
- Site for dumping waste including radioactive substances
If the ocean surface were covered by a thin plastic membrane that passed heat but not water, similar to the cover to a swimming pool, what would be the implications for the atmosphere and for weather over the land?