Introduction to Oceans and Coastal Environments

Learning Objectives

This chapter has severalĀ goals and objectives:

  • Describe the significance of the ocean and how it influences weather and climate.
  • Explain the different layers of the ocean.
  • Understand the basic physics of ocean waves.
  • Compare and contrast the differences between surface and deep ocean currents.

Essential Questions

  • Based on scientific data, some scientists have hypothesized that if enough ice from Greenland melts, the Gulf Stream might be shut down. The logic is that too much fresh water could flow into the ocean, changing the salt water it would disrupt the salt and fresh water distribution. Why might this happen and how could it influence places like Europe?
  • Are humans overfishing the world’s oceans? What environmental and ecological concerns should be considered? How could this be a tragedy of the commons?