Thursday, 10 February 2011

Oceanography Current Events

Even the fact that oceans cover 71 percent of the total surface area of the Earth is not enough to provide you with the details of the biodiversity of these water bodies. The actual number of marine biome plants and animal species which inhabit these oceans goes way beyond the thousand mark, with several species waiting to be discovered as of today. The information provided in the number of oceanography current events articles which are published in the dailies and magazines is nothing as compared to what actually lies at the ocean floor. The life in the depth of these oceans is quite dynamic with a number of marine events taking place at any given point time.

Oceanography Current Events 2010

The marine biome, which consists of the five oceans of the world - i.e. the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern Ocean and the Arctic Ocean, covers approximately 71 percent of the total surface area of the planet Earth. The branch of Earth science which deals with the physical and biological aspects of these oceans is known as oceanography, marine science or oceanology. Scientists involved in oceanography keep a track of various events that occur in these oceans, and compile the data of these events. While some oceanography events and findings are astonishing, others are equally alarming. Either ways the occurrences in these oceans are quite interesting, and therefore shouldn't be ignored. Given below is a list of some of the most prominent current events in marine biology which is bound to leave you spell bound.

Oceans Encroaching Upon Land
Rising sea level, which can be attributed to rise in the surface temperature of the planet due to global warming, is threatening the low lying areas and small islands in various parts of the world. Global warming has been melting the glaciers and expanding the ocean water by heating, which, in turn, is encroaching upon the land. Maldives islands sinking and sea water encroaching on flood plains of Bangladesh are the best examples of this phenomenon.

Microbes are Disappearing
The microbes, which constitute for 90 percent of the ocean biomass, are disappearing at an alarming rate. These microbes absorbgreenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane, in the oceans and thus play a crucial role in regulating the temperature of our planet. The alarming rate at which these microbes are dying only hints at the difficult times towards which we are heading.

Hypoxia in Oceans
The oxygen levels in ocean water is depleting, which has resulted in hypoxia in various parts of the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean and the Indian Ocean. Even though scientists have come across oxygen deficient pockets in oceans in the past, the rate at which these pockets are spreading has left these scientists alarmed. Studies in marine biology have revealed that the amount of oxygen concentration in ocean water in certain parts of the world has gone down by 34 percent over the last five decades.

Oil Spills and Oil Seeps
Oil spill is yet another issue which has been threatening various oceans of the world. While oil spills triggered by human error have been common over the last few years, the instances of natural oil seeps in certain parts of the ocean have also become quite frequent. Some instances of oil spills triggered by human error over the last year include Deepwater Horizon oil spill, Mumbai oil spill, Barataria Bay oil spill, etc. The best example of natural oil seep, on the other hand, is the Gulf of Mexico oil seep.

These were some of the most prominent events that have been occurring in the oceans over the last few years. Other than the above mentioned oceanography current events, extinctions of marine species, expeditions by various countries, are some of the prominent events which deserve a mention. The vast expanse of ocean biomes makes it difficult to keep a track of all the events that take place in them. That being said, the chances of we missing on some important events that took place in these oceans cannot be ignored. At the end of the day, we can take these events as signs of the problems we are likely to face in the future and put in some efforts in order to make sure that we don't contribute to the damage that is being induced upon the marine life.

By Abhijit Naik
Published: 9/9/2010