Bryden, Harry L., Robinson, Carol and Griffiths, Gwyn
A strategy for UK marine science for the next 20 years
Philosophical Transactions of The Royal Society A: Mathematical Physical and Engineering Sciences, 370, (1980), . (doi:10.1098/rsta.2012.0403).
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Fifty years ago, there was ‘A discussion on progress and needs of marine science’ at the Royal Society . George Deacon wrote in the Introduction (p. 286): ‘A hundred years ago the Society often listened to papers about the ocean, but the rapid growth of science … has led to some neglect of large-scale natural processes’. Today, marine science is at the core of many of the most substantial challenges and opportunities facing society. The large-scale natural processes referred to by Deacon, encompassing physics, chemistry and biology, are being perturbed by anthropogenic inputs to the atmosphere, most notably carbon dioxide, and directly and indirectly into the ocean, with substances ranging from radioactive elements to nutrients to endocrine disrupters. Ocean resources are increasingly being exploited. Offshore oil and gas are resources of growing importance to many developing nations, while marine renewable energy is a small but likely to be significant aspect for many coastal communities. Questions over the exploitation of the ocean's living resources can lead to clashes between science and politics. In terms of climate change, we are presently performing a global experiment by putting large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. How the turbulent ocean and atmosphere will react to the resulting changes in radiative forcing and interact with land and ice forms are fascinating scientific problems of intrinsic interest but also with serious ramifications for mankind. Marine science is at the base of addressing these issues. Fundamental research is needed to deepen understanding of ocean processes, understanding that may enlarge or constrain the options for addressing the challenges facing society. What are the critical marine science issues that should be addressed in the next 20 years?
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