Oxford scientists are actively engaged in a variety of research areas looking at the different roles oceans play within the climate system.
The ocean has a vital part to play in the behaviour and long-term balance of the climate system. Oceans, which cover about two-thirds of the Earth’s surface, are crucial in the uptake and storage of both heat and carbon from the atmosphere. Global ocean currents, some of which operate on timescales of many hundreds of years , critically affect the long-term balance of heat transfer around the globe and directly influence climate in many areas of the world. As climate alters, we anticipate various changes to the oceans, both their composition and their circulation. Warmer waters, for example, can hold less carbon dioxide than colder, so as the climate warms the ability of the ocean to take up carbon dioxide from the atmosphere reduces. This is just one example among many.
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Relevant Research Groups
Understanding marine phytoplankton production and the utility of marine bio-optics and molecular biology as tools for monitoring marine ecosystems.
Research includes large-scale atmospheric circulation, ocean circulation and climate variability.
Focused on modelling climate and ocean variability, predictability and prediction, and interaction between the carbon cycle and climate.
Focused on physics of sea ice, interaction of ice sheets and glaciers with the ocean.
Research focused on ocean chemistry, past oceanic circulation, and sea level.
Investigating the role of marine phytoplankton in the carbon cycle.
An inter-departmental group that works on understanding ocean circulation and the role it plays in climate