What are ocean-atmosphere interactions?
Ocean-Atmosphere Interaction Research Objectives:
- To gain a better understanding of the working relationship between the atmsophere and ocean
- To identify global changes in the interaction between the atmosphere and ocean
- To monitor the health of the planet
Over 70% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean. Oceans play a very important role in the health of the atmosphere through critical gas exchange to global air and heat circulation.
For example, oceans play a key role in the carbon cycle by absorbing carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere. And they obviously play a key role in the water cycle by balancing how much water vapor (H2O) is in the atmosphere. Did you know that atmospheric water vapor is one of the most powerful greenhouse gases?
Why conduct field studies on ocean-atmosphere interactions?
It is of the utmost importance to study the interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere due to the global nature of the oceans. Identifying both global and local changes due to one another can have far reaching effects from being able to predict major climate change such as droughts and floods, to assessing the health of the planet by studying the carbon dioxide concentrations in both the oceans and atmosphere.
EOL field projects studying ocean systems:
- DYNAMO 2011 :: Studying how various seasonal weather patterns interact with one another over the Indian Ocean
- HIPPO 2009-2011 :: Observing global carbon cycle and other greenhouse gases from the North Pole to the South Pole over the Pacific Basic
- VOCALS 2008 :: Studying ocean-atmosphere-land interactions of the Southeast Pacific Ocean and South America
Do you still have questions about ocean-atmosphere interactions?
If you still have a few more questions about ocean-atmosphere interactions, feel free to ask a scientist! You can find a scientist who specializes in your particular question. Click on their name to send them an email, or click on some on some of the other provided links to learn more about their specialty!