Whether you’re a scientist, a teacher, or just curious about the world around us, there are many ways that oceanology can help in understanding climate change better. Some of these applications are obvious: The oceans may be heating up and becoming more acidic due to human activity, but there are also more subtle ways this phenomenon affects the planet’s oceans. Here are five fascinating ways oceanography can teach us about climate change:
The ocean floor is a dynamic environment, constantly changing. It’s not just the tides and waves that shape its contours — tectonic plates constantly move under it, creating mountains and valleys that eventually become sedimentary rock. The ocean floor is also a graveyard of these tectonic plates. Every time two plates collide and push against each other, one plate will slide beneath the other and be swallowed up by all those sedimentary rock layers in subduction. This process creates new underwater mountains! The exciting part about this process is that it produces olivine crystals—the same kind of crystals found in meteorites (rocks from outer space). Identifying these kinds of crystals helps us understand how our planet formed millions of years ago because they can only form under specific conditions—so they tell us something about how Earth came together at its earliest stages.
As the oceans absorb energy from seismic waves, they also dampen their frequency. This means that while a large earthquake might happen only once every few years in one area, it may happen more frequently in another area because of the impact of oceanology on seismic activity. Additionally, by absorbing and dispersing energy through its movement around tectonic plates (constantly shifting), the oceans can reduce the frequency and magnitude of earthquakes.
As a result, the oceans may be able to reduce the frequency and intensity of earthquakes but only over a long period. It would take thousands or even millions of years to impact earthquake activity significantly.
Plankton is the foundation of the food web, meaning they’re what all other organisms in the ocean eat. They are also the most abundant organisms on Earth.
Plankton is important in sustaining life in the oceans by providing food for many larger marine animals, including fish and whales. However, when sea temperatures rise, plankton dies off at an alarming rate due to their sensitivity to changes in climate.
This doesn’t just affect the small creatures living below; there’s evidence that plankton populations have declined globally by roughly 40% since 1950—a strong indicator that climate change impacts these tiny organisms and their ability to thrive within their environment.
Oceanography and Astrobiology
Oceanography and astrobiology are closely related disciplines. Both study the ocean and space, but with a difference: the former is dedicated to understanding life in extreme environments (e.g., deep-sea vents). At the same time, the latter focuses on extraterrestrial environments.
That’s where things get interesting—because both fields are subfields of oceanography and astrobiology, they’re both branches of one larger discipline! This means you could be an oceanographer who studies deep-sea vents or a paleontologist who studies ancient life forms that lived in space before Earth formed.
Monitoring Changes in the Ocean Floor
When it comes to monitoring changes in the ocean floor and the health of coral reefs, there are some techniques used. Subsea imaging is one technique used for monitoring changes in the ocean floor and for other purposes, such as oil and gas exploration. It can also be used for scientific research purposes like studying coral reefs or mapping out changes in our oceans over time. The process involves sending down a remotely operated vehicle (ROV) or an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV). This technique is not limited to one purpose, so it is one of the most important methods when it comes to oceanography.
The oceans have a lot to teach us about climate change. Finding out what’s going on in the world’s oceans is important to learn more about climate change. There’s no doubt that oceanology has a lot to teach about climate change. The oceans are a crucial indicator of our planet’s health, and their immense size and depth give scientists an invaluable perspective on how these changes affect our world.