Deacon, Margaret Department of Oceanography, University of Southampton, Southampton, United Kingdom.
Last reviewed:August 2020
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- The modern discipline
- Physical oceanography
- Marine biology
- Marine geology
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The science of the sea, including physical oceanography, marine chemistry, marine geology, and marine biology. The need to know more about the impact of marine pollution and possible effects of the exploitation of marine resources, together with the role of the ocean in global warming and climate change, means that oceanography is an important scientific discipline (see illustration). Improved understanding of the sea has been essential in such diverse fields as fisheries conservation, the exploitation of underwater oil and gas reserves and coastal protection policy, as well as in national defense strategies. The scientific benefits include not only improved understanding of the oceans and their inhabitants, but important information about the evolution of the Earth and its tectonic processes and about the global environment and climate, past and present, as well as possible future changes. See also: Global warming; Global climate change; Ocean warming; Paleoceanography; Water pollution
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