Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
THE OCEAN IS arguablythe largest habitat on the planet, and it houses an astounding array of life, from microbes to whales. Oceanography is the branch of Earth science that studies the Earths oceans. It is the systematic scientitle study of the oceans and deep sea with the goal of understanding their processes and phenomena. The relationship of oceans with other aspects of the Earths environment is also highlighted in océanographie studies. Biology, chemistry, geology and physics together make oceanography a richly interdisciplinary science. Although they contain most of the Earths water and carbon and surface heat, and much of its biomass, the oceans do not operate alone. Together with the atmosphere, continents and ice-cover, they form a working platform, driven mostly by energy from the Sun. Earth science has four main components: hydrosphere, solid earth, atmosphere and biosphere. Water at the Earths surface or near it, is termed the hydrosphere. ...