The ocean is under greater pressure from anthropogenic influence than ever before. It is therefore pertinent that we try to understand the nature of the oceans, be it the marine geology, the ecosystems, or the chemical and physical properties of the ocean that all interact with each other. The course will emphasize the interdisciplinarity of the subject. The bathymetry of the ocean and the forces that shape it will be studied. Characteristics of waves and tides are considered. The properties of seawater will be explored and how outside forces lead to formation of different water masses that then circulate in the ocean. We will be learning about the ocean circulation and its effects on the biology of the ocean on large and small scales. Recent anthropogenic effects on the ocean, such as global warming, increased acidity and other pollutants will be addressed. The oceanic and coastal areas we travel through will be used as examples in the course.
Field WorkCountry: India
Date: March 1, 2018
We will start our day with a visit to the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography Regional Centre in Kochi. The principal focus of research is on observing and understanding special oceanographic characteristics of the Indian Ocean. The students will get a guided tour around the Institute as well as an introduction to its role and responsibilities. The students will have opportunity to ask questions about the subjects presented. Sea level rise due to melting of glaciers in polar areas and thermal expansion due to global warming poses a threat to the low lying coastal areas around Kochi. After lunch the students will have a tour to places vulnerable to sea level rise and hear about the effort that the government is taking towards protecting these areas from sea level changes predicted with future global warming. The students will thus see how changes in a climate in a remote place like the Arctic can influence areas that are far away and thus how changes in climate are interconnected over the Globe.
1. To gain understanding of the ecology of the Arabian Sea
2. To obtain understanding of the organization of ocean research in India
3. Too get an appreciation of the challenges facing the Indian society as sea level rises due to global warming