The oceans and the climate
The sea is of great importance to the Earth's climate system. The high heat capacity of seawater and its special properties of thermal equilibrium like the intermingling of its upper layers, even out extremes of temperature over the course of the year. And the thermal equilibrium between the more northerly and southerly latitudes results from the general cycling of the atmosphere and of the ocean in roughly equal measure.
However the oceans' influence on the climate is not purely thermal; they interact in major biogeochemical cycles, particularly the carbon cycle. Carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, is a major influence on future climate trends. So to learn about the climate of tomorrow, study of the oceans is indispensable:
In December 2009, during the Climate Change Conference, five traditional tall ships set sail during a parade trip on the wintry Baltic Sea near Copenhagen with the inscription “Act now!” This called and urged tens of thousands of climate activists onto the streets... read more