Why Should I Study Marine Geochemistry?

David Hastings Marine Science

If you’re a student who has an interest in the oceans, you should consider studying marine geochemistry. It’s an interdisciplinary degree that combines the best of chemistry and biology. It’s also a great way to develop your research skills. You’ll have the opportunity to work on real-world projects as part of your coursework.

To understand the oceans

The oceans cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface and are home to an incredible range of microscopic organisms and animals. Studying marine biology will teach you how these organisms and animals behave in their natural habitats.

You’ll also learn about the ocean’s physical structure and how it’s altered by the planet’s processes. This is known as ocean geology.

Marine geochemistry is a rapidly growing field that uses chemical elements and their isotopes to determine how the ocean works in terms of ocean circulation, chemical composition, biological activity and atmospheric CO2 regulation. This is a great way to gain quantitative answers to important questions in many disciplines (physical, chemical and biological oceanography, geology, climatology, ecology).

To understand the Earth

Marine geochemistry helps to develop an understanding of the composition of coastal and marine water and sediments. It also contributes to the knowledge of current and past global element distributions and dynamics.

In this age of climate change, oceans are changing their chemistry at an accelerated pace. Pollution is washing in from the coasts, iron-laden dust is blowing in from arid lands and greenhouse gases are raising surface temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.

In this context, Roy-Barman and Jeandel’s Marine Geochemistry deserves to be included in your reading list. The book has a well conceived and implemented approach that will be an asset to students and faculty alike. It combines the requisite plethora of oceanography facts with a dash of geology, remote sensing and other cutting-edge technologies to produce an interdisciplinary treatise that will certainly become an instructional staple in classrooms across the globe.

To understand the human impact on the oceans

The ocean plays a pivotal role in global climate change by serving as a major heat and carbon sink. It also absorbs many of the other major climate pollutants like sulfur dioxide, ozone, and methane from the atmosphere.

However, the most important function of the ocean is to sustain life on Earth. It has provided the necessary oxygen to humans since our earliest ancestors roamed the land, and it remains a valuable resource today. Despite this, human activity has caused significant changes in ocean chemistry that are impacting marine life in many ways. The most notable of these is a rise in acidity that may cause marine plants and animals to migrate in search of more hospitable conditions. The other most notable occurrence is the introduction of invasive species into our seas.

To understand the Earth’s climate

Earth’s climate is a complex system that is constantly changing. It is an interplay of the hydrosphere (water), biosphere (life), lithosphere (land, sediments, rocks), and atmosphere.

In order to understand the Earth’s climate, it is important to study the past and future of these systems. This is especially true in a time when the human world is perturbing the Earth’s climate system at unprecedented rates.

Marine geochemistry is an interdisciplinary field that integrates the chemical aspects of the solid Earth, its oceans, atmosphere, and biosphere. It focuses on the interaction between these spheres and their exchange of matter and energy over geologic time scales.

To understand the Earth’s ecosystems

Marine geochemistry studies how the chemical properties of oceans interact including marine ecosystems, ocean currents and fluid dynamics. These topics help to understand the Earth’s ecosystems which include oceans that cover two-thirds of the Earth’s surface and provide habitat for a variety of animals, plants, and microscopic organisms.

The Earth’s ecosystems depend on a variety of factors, such as the climate, water resources, natural hazards, and biogeochemical cycles. These factors may change over time, and marine geochemical scientists are involved in assessing the impact of these changes on our planet.

With accelerated global climate change, marine geochemical research is also critical to understanding how the oceans can adapt to this changing environment. For example, the ocean has been absorbing more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, leading to increased ocean acidification which can cause problems for many types of marine organisms.

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