How the Ocean Works

Seventy-one percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water! This has had a profound effect on how our species have progressed and will continue to influence how our future is shaped. The recent distastrous effects of tsunamis and hurricanes, coupled with concerns about global warming, climate change and carbon recycling have made it important to understand more about how the oceans work on a global scale. This course will introduce students to: (1) Various phenomena/features related to the oceans, such as tsunamis, thermohalines, tides, currents, storms, marine life and bioluminescence etc.. (2) How the oceans affect our lives (e.g. weather, climate, sources of food, travel etc) , (3) Our attempts at understanding the workings of the oceans using exploration and the scientific theories that have been developed over the last few decades. (4) Our attempts at controlling and exploiting the oceans (e.g. conservation, energy, marine engineering). Students will gain an appreciation of the scientific principles involved with the minimum of mathematics. This course will also prepare studnets to better understand the role of oceans, and provide insight into making educated decisions regarding our vulnerable environment and our precious supply of water.

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