Oceanographic perspectives and hobby (part 1)

By Linley Bignoux

Now I’m not going to write about the current situation with the coronavirus since that seems to be a mystery in itself and to be quite honest with you its really news media saturation.

Today I’m talking about hobbies of interest in a world well let’s face it where it becomes overwhelming process so much information which tends to rely on factual opinions and rarely focuses or even considers relative information to inform the public of proven or at least theory-based information passed on as fact.

I’m over the current virus thingy, on to more things about hobbies and interests, anyway I thought I would preface this post about the current coronavirus issue. So just as facts are based on things that we can all agree upon, hobbies and interests are things we can all agree upon as well.
Apart from the many things I am interested in, explaining the physical world and the world we live in has been a hobby of mine for a long time. Being a full-time English teacher makes explaining things quite natural, that is not to say that is easy, however.

Among the hobbies and interests, definitely photography and scuba diving and the scientific, but not all science is appealing to me or to know about, nevertheless anything interesting I guess appeals to us all in some shape or form. Now I will preface this article post bay saying that I am not a scientist or oceanographer, I don’t need to be one either, however, my interest comes from having an inquiring mind which attempts to understand the physical works around it.

Being both a recreational scuba diver and a professionally rated driving instructor for 14 years, oceanography is relevant since I also wish to be informed about the oceans in a way which is based on science to better understand some aspects of the ocean.

The notion that science can only be explained by a scientist is a myth, or that science is hard to explain by the person on the street is another myth this is what science itself suffers from, not enough people being able to explain some of the innate technicalities and jargon of science.

So…Interset in the oceans or for that matter, the study and understanding of the oceans and seas cannot involve the scientific study or scientific discipline of Oceanography if we are to truly to grasp at least the fundamental understanding and knowledge of our word oceans no matter where you are or live in this planet.

That’s does not mean that science alone can explain everything about the oceans, it can, however, explain the physical aspects, as many scientific disciplines do.

So what is oceanography? Let us start with some of its origins or highlights and how this multi-disciplined scientific study and consequent research of the oceans came about.

Back in the late 1800s, which dawned in a new era of scientific explanation and exploration, the name Oceanography was born or the terms were coined and made widespread. It is, in essence, a way of explaining many aspects of the marine environment.

Similarly, it is a way of depicting or describing marine phenomena whilst studying all facets of the marine environment, it is also referred to as marine science.

Since ancient times, around the world, humans have utilized the oceans for food sources medicinal, recreational purposes and transportation. Since the 1930’s oceanic processes had been studied, even though this is not so long ago, the reasons behind the commencement of the study were for petrol pr petroleum-based products, this continued as WW2 was in full swing, ocean exploration continued for military purposes.

Now on to these physical processes of the oceans and seas. They offer ideal fishing grounds to fisherman for example, who make their living from the oceans in many countries, again this has happened since ancient times but also in prehistoric times.

Conversely, technological advancement has allowed scientists to explore the mysteries of ocean processes allowing them to discover and investigate and even inform their previous research some cases the physical, chemical and geological attributes or properties, whilst knowing how marine life interacts which may give good fishing spots to fisherman domestically and globally.

Now, let’s consider what oceanography is more specifically. Largely a broad inter-disciplinary science, oceanography delves into all aspects the oceans and seas. Oceanography is comprised of many scientific topics, that is for sure and it is obvious.

Such is the nature or essence of oceanography, being an interdisciplinary it covers many disciplines of science itself and can be divided up into subfields or different categories.

For instance, what is commonly called ocean engineering, marine archeology and marine policy are quite distinct academic disciplines which form part of oceanography. Generally speaking, there are 4 disciplines of oceanography.

They are in no particular order of importance; Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography and Physical Oceanography. The first one listed, Biological Oceanography is not to be confused with Marine Biology, although share some aspects of it that seem the same or quite the same, they are different fields, however.

Biological oceanography studies oceanic life and their relationships to one another, how they adapt to the underwater environment, whilst studying and/or researching ways to harvest food for example, such as in commercial or recreational fishing activities in a sustainable way.

Physical oceanography, it almost sounds counter-intuitive since science is based on the matter or physical properties, however, this is not important, it is just a naming convention.

So Physical oceanography studies currents, tides and waves amongst many other things, the relationship between the ocean and the atmosphere and how that influences climate or weather. How light and sound are transmitted through water is another example of what is studied and/or researched in this field of oceanography.

On the other hand, Chemical oceanography studies how pollutants or substances affect water, for example, the extraction of chemicals out of seawater and/or the chemical composition and properties of seawater is what this field is about.

Geological oceanography studies the overall and specific structures of the ocean floor and how it has changed or evolved. The creation of the seafloor or crust, geographical and physical features and how sediments have been deposited I the ocean are looked at in this oceanographic field of study.

Again, due to the inter-disciplinary nature of oceanography and how it focuses on the particular processor systems in the underwater world or aspects that are innately related to it is what it is all about. The scientific subjects such as biology, chemistry, geology, geography and psychics all play their part in oceanography.


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