Oceanography

Oceanography is the study of the oceans as ecological systems. In this section, learn about topics like currents, deep-sea research or how rogue waves work.


Rough times call for creative measures. The world is filled with oceans, and oceans are filled with wave energy that could potentially be transformed into power. Is wave energy a viable fossil fuel alternative?

Without water, Earth would be a barren and lifeless planet. But did you know the Earth's water supply has not increased or decreased for billions of years? No wonder hydrologists are so fascinated by water.

Ocean conservation has been a popular topic in many environmental debates recently. This collection of pictures show just why ocean conservation is so important.

Ocean currents can have an incredible impact on Earth's weather. This gallery of images shows how powerful ocean currents can be in the environment.

Whether you sail, surf, fish or collect shells, having one of these could help you out before you hit the water.

You might never notice the relentless movement of the oceans unless their waters went eerily still. What forces drive the oceans every second of the day?

Seventy percent of the Earth's fresh water is in polar ice caps, the those caps calve icebergs all the time. So why can't we use those icebergs to provide fresh water that so many countries are in desperate need of?

What's as big as a continent and sitting in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? A pile of garbage that extends 100 feet (30 meters) below the surface of the water.

Also known as "freak waves," these colossal walls of water have been alleged to be in the range of 100 feet or more. Learn what separates rogue waves from other large waves, what causes them and find out about some of the better-known rogue wave incidents.

The dead zone, caused by massive amounts of algae growth, is a vast area off the Gulf of Mexico that is deadly to marine life. How is human activity making the dead zone worse?

What would you need to explore an ocean on Europa, one of Jupiter's moons? Among other things, you'd need a submersible vehicle to explore the ocean and relate findings back to Earth. Stone Aerospace is developing just such a vehicle: the DEPTHX.

Rip currents are the number-one concern for beach lifeguards: About 80 percent of all beach rescues are related to rip currents. Learn what they are and what you should do if you get caught in one.

If you ask anyone interested in surfing, they'll probably tell you that you need to be on the West Coast in order to find the biggest waves. But why is that? Why are the waves bigger on the West Coast when compared to the East Coast of the U.S.?

How do they measure "sea level"? Is it the average of the tides? And is the sea level actually rising or not?