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The Oceans


The Oceans

The oceans play an extremely important role in controlling the climate of our Earth by transporting heat from the equator to the polar regions.  If it wasn't for the oceans, most of the planet would be too cold for humans to live on.  The sea is also an important source of food and of energy, both as non-renewable oil and gas and as renewable wind and wave power.  The coastal area is particularly important for humans since over 60% of the Earth's population live within 100 km of the sea.


In this Basic Introduction to The Oceans, we will look at how oceans move heat around the globe and how the special properties of water help regulate to the climate of the Earth. We will look at the most important life form in the oceans, the phytoplankton, showing how they grow and what their sources of food are.  We will also look at how these single celled marine plants affect climate by taking up carbon dioxide and by producing gases which enter the air and help to form clouds.


1. Oceans and climate

  • Properties of water
  • Ocean circulation
  • Uptake of carbon dioxide

2. Oceanic nutrients

  • Phytoplankton and nutrients
  • Phytoplankton growth
  • Eutrophication

3. Gases from phytoplankton

  • Sulphur gases
  • Aerosols and climate
  • Gases from seawater -1
  • Gases from seawater -2





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