The year in review


  • D. James Baker


The year 1983 was an exciting one, filled with intense activity by oceanographers in all disciplines. The year started with confirmation that we were indeed experiencing a major and unusual El Niño. The awareness of the role of the ocean in climate variation was enhanced both by the severity of the El Niño and the new reports on the effect of increasing CO2 in the atmosphere.

The year continued with remarkable demonstrations of the power of satellite-borne instruments to reveal new physical, biological, and geological features of the ocean. We saw the retirement of the Glomar Challenger as a deep sea drilling vessel after 15 successful years and the start of a major new drilling program destined to be aboard a larger vessel. The year ended with planning for new, expanded studies on the interaction of the tropical ocean with the global atmosphere and on the general circulation of the ocean. The prospects of global studies of biogeochemical fluxes were under discussion.