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What I Have Learnt About Oceanography

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This week’s readings provided us with lots of information concerning the ocean. The ocean is a vast and complex land mass that is beyond fascinating. Oceanography is “an interdisciplinary science divided into subdisciplines of physical, chemical, geological, and biological oceanography”. It has provided us with many resources and has been a substantial part of our everyday survival, those being transportation, waste disposal, a reliable food source, minerals, and now man-made energy designs. The ocean was first studies in the stone age but it was limited “Early exploration of the oceans was primarily for cartography and many limited to its surfaces and of the animals that fishermen brought up in nets, though depth soundings by lead line were taken”.

It is important for us to understand how we can negatively impact the ocean’s health, so we can avoid causing damage. Because of the number of fossil fuels we burn, more carbon dioxide is burned into the air causing acidification and deoxygenation of the ocean. We learn that in eighteen-eighty the carbon dioxide concentration was at two-hundred and ninety and today it’s at four-hundred and eleven. If we continue at this rate, important ocean life species will continue to die off. We learn how The amount of living organisms in the ocean is vast, in fact, “The first known life was bacteria-like, existed about 4.2 billion years ago” and was chemosynthetic. These bacteria-like organisms most likely died off as oxygen in the ocean started to circulate through the surface later, pycnocline zone, and the deep zone.

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Studies of the ocean are portrayed in many different ways. Graphs, contour plots and profiles, and maps are charts are the main ways. Graphs provide “A means by which relationships between two or more numbers or properties can be visualized”. Contour plots and profiles “are used to display the two-dimensional spatial distribution of a variable such as atmospheric pressure on weather maps”. Finally, maps and charts are “to represent the spherical surface of the Earth in two dimensions on a map”.

In Eighteen-seventy-two to Eighteen-seventy-six, the British set out a navy corvette which gave us our first deep ocean study. We obtained new information on the ocean including temperatures, minerals, animals, fish, and currents.

It’s interesting to think that there is still so much more we have to learn about the ocean. What I found most fascinating is that only in the eighteen-hundreds did we first learn about the deep ocean floor. With that only being under two-hundred years ago, I can only believe that there is so much more for us to learn, and that is beyond fascinating to me.

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