Why is marine science important?
The oceans cover almost three-quarters of the Earth's surface and comprise over nine-tenths of our total water resources. We use the oceans for food, energy and materials and oceans play a major role in controlling climate. Life most likely began in the oceans, and most life never left.
From fishing to oil exploration, tourism to wind farming sustainable exploitation of marine resources needs the best science and technology for better efficiency, competitiveness and environmental management.
As in all areas of science, new knowledge often results in unexpected benefits. Studying the microbes and floating plants of the oceans, NERC scientists have discovered potential new medical treatments and sunscreens.
Researching natural hazards such as tsunamis and storm surges will help us to improve early warning systems and save lives.
NERC marine science provides the data required to decide when to raise or lower the Thames barrier. The cost of getting this wrong would be £30bn, without counting the loss of human lives.
Innovations in marine technology are helping to improve oil discovery, defence and exploration of previously unknown environments such as the underneath of ice shelves.