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Oceanography (compound of the Greek words meaning "ocean" and meaning "to write"), also called oceanology or marine science, is the branch of Earth science that studies the ocean. Oceanography is an interdisciplinary science that involves the study of the entire ocean.

It covers a wide range of topics, including marine organisms Ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics the geology of the sea floor; fluxes of various chemical substances physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries.

Oceanography and Our Oceans

71% of Earth's surface is covered with water, so it is important we know something about the water surrounding us. Oceanography is the science of our oceans that mixes biology, geology, chemistry, and physics (among other sciences) to unravel the mysteries of our seas. The Earth has an area of approximately 197 million square miles of which 140 million square miles is water. The Earth is broken up into hemispheresNorthern and Southern. In the Northern Hemisphere, 61% is water and 39% is land, thus it is called the "Land Hemisphere". In the Southern Hemisphere, 81% is water and 19% is land, thus it is called the "Water Hemisphere.

Earths Oceans and Seas

The Hemispheres of the Earth

Northern Hemisphere is approximately 39% land.

Southern Hemisphere is approximately 19% land.

Place in Geography
Oceanography is a part of Physical Geography. Oceanography is significant to geography because the fields have overlapped in terms of navigation, mapping and the physical and biological study of Earth's environment. A Geographical approach into Oceanography include the studies of: The inter-relation between sea and atmosphere and the effect on weather. The problems and prospects of ocean navigation. The possibilities of developing planktonic food resources. The development and conservation of world fisheries and exploration of other food resources. The Geographical research with the aim of knowing the reflects of various forces under the sea

Connection to the atmosphere

The study of the oceans is linked with the atmosphere to understanding global climate changes, potential global warming and related biosphere concerns. The atmosphere and ocean are linked because of evaporation and precipitation as well as thermal flux and solar insolation. Wind stress is a major driver of ocean currents while the ocean is a sink for atmospheric carbon dioxide. Our planet is invested with two great oceans; one visible, the other invisible; one underfoot, the other overhead; one entirely envelopes it, the other covers about two thirds of itssurface

Branches of oceanography
There are generally six branches of oceanography Physical oceanography, or marine physics, studies the ocean's physical attributes including temperature, salinity structure, mixing, waves, internal waves, surface tides, internal tides, and currents. Chemical oceanography, or marine chemistry, is the study of the chemistry of the ocean and its chemical interaction with the atmosphere; Biological oceanography, or marine biology, is the study of the plants, animals and microbes of the oceans and their ecological interaction with the ocean; Geological oceanography, or marine geology, is the study of the geology of the ocean floor including plate tectonics and paleoceanography; Meteorological oceanography, the study of the interactions of the atmosphere and the ocean in the hydrosphere. Applied oceanography:-This branch of oceanography is concerned with the application of the oceanographic knowledge to practical problems.

Physical oceanography or marine physics

Physical oceanography considers the sea as a fluid in motion, subjected to internal and external forces. The subject matter of Physical oceanography is: Origin, extent and nature of the ocean basins. The topography of the ocean bottoms and coastal areas. physical properties of the ocean waters-temperature, salinity, pressure, density, and water masses. The general distributional pattern of the physical properties of the oceans. The thermo-dynamics of the ocean waters- ocean tides, ocean waves, ocean currents.

Chemical oceanography or marine chemistry

Water contains various salts and other substances in dissolved form which effect: The physical processes The biological cycles The geological cycles The subject matter of Chemical oceanography is: Hydrogen bonds of the molecules of surface water Chemical determination of chloride The nutrient cycle depends upon the chemical composition of the sea water The waste organic world of the oceans are directly related to the nutrient cycle Chemical oceanography studies the problems of the pollution of ocean waters and their solutions.

Biological oceanography or marine biology

Is the study of the Fauna and Flora the ocean. The subject matter is of marine biology is : The causes and origin of animals and plant life in the oceans Planktonic life Zooplankton and Phytoplankton The study of different types of marine organisms tiny to large animals and floating animals Sea as a biological environment

Geological oceanography or marine geology

Geological oceanography is the study of the geological structure of the ocean basins. The subject matter of marine geology is: The origin of the ocean basins The structure of the ocean basins The morphology of the sea floor The heat flow below the ocean bottoms Marine Earthquakes Marine magnetism Geological oceanography also study : The theory of the sea floor spreading The continental drift theory The plate tectonic theory

Meteorological oceanography or marine meteorology

Marine meteorology is the study of the interaction between the oceans and the atmosphere above the oceans. The subject matter of marine oceanography : The study of the atmospheric temperature above the oceans Energy exchange The study of the atmospheric pressure above the oceans Prevailing winds and air circulation over the oceans- causes storms and hurricanes Ice Bergs Tsunamis Weather charts of the oceans

Importance of Oceanography
Throughout history humans have been directly or indirectly influenced by the oceans. Ocean waters serve as a source of food and valuable minerals Ocean waters serve as vast highways for transport and commerce Increasingly, people are turning to the oceans for their food supply either by direct consumption or indirectly by harvesting fish that is then processed for livestock feed. It has been estimated that as much as 10% of human protein intake comes from the oceans. Other biological products of the oceans are also commercially used. For example, pearls taken from oysters are used in jewelry, and shells and coral have been widely used as a source of building material.

Ocean water is processed to extract commercially valuable minerals such as salt, bromine, and magnesium. Extensive deposits of petroleum-bearing sands have been exploited in offshore areas, particularly along the Gulf and California coasts of the United States and in the Persian Gulf. On the deep ocean floor manganese nodules, formed by the precipitation of manganese oxides and other metallic salts around a nucleus of rock or shell, represent a potentially rich and extensive resource. Ocean water itself could prove to be a limitless source of energy in the event that nuclear fusion reactors are developed, since the oceans contain great quantities of deuterium. The oceans also have become more important for recreational use, as each year more people are attracted to the sports of swimming, fishing, scuba diving, boating, and water-skiing.