Even more interdisciplinary future lies ahead for ocean chemistry


  • Larry Mayer,

  • Ellen Druffel,

  • Mike Bender,

  • Ed Boyle,

  • Rick Jahnke,

  • Bill Jenkins,

  • Cindy Lee,

  • George Luther,

  • Billy Moore


Ocean chemistry is among the most interdisciplinary of marine sciences, but even greater linkage to other oceanographic and materials science disciplines is recommended in a new report by the chemical oceanography community. The field has advanced dramatically during the past 20 years and is poised to make fundamental new contributions in the coming decades, the report emphasizes.

Chemical and biogeochemical processes in the ocean have profound implications for atmospheric chemistry ocean biology, and (via hydrothermal processes) the evolution of the ocean crust. Chemical tracer studies underlie much of our understanding of ocean circulation, while the chemical and isotopic composition of microfossils provides a record of past ocean circulation, temperature, and climate. Chemical processes in the marine realm thus have a profound impact on key aspects of the environment while providing the tools to study other fundamental oceanic processes.