Foras na Mara

Ocean Science turning the tide on Climate Change

M5 Weather buoy. Picture Credit Kieran Adlum, Marine Institute3 June 2021: Our ocean is the Earth's natural climate moderator – regulating climate and influencing weather patterns around the globe and affecting every one of us, no matter where we live. The ocean's potential as a climate solution is only now beginning and ocean research is vital to help us to mitigate, adapt and turn the tide on climate change. The Marine Institute and partners are celebrating our seas with Oceans of Learning, offering a new podcast series, educational videos and short films, news and online resources all about our ocean. This week's Oceans of Learning resources, available on the Marine Institute's website at Our Ocean: Our Climate, explores the inextricable link between our ocean and our climate.

The ocean plays a crucial role in the global climate system by absorbing excess heat from the atmosphere and absorbing 30 per cent of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity. Ireland's climate is regulated by the Atlantic Gulf Stream, protecting us from climatic extremes but leaving us exposed to climate change impacts such as sea level rise, ocean acidification, extreme weather events and climate-driven changes in our marine ecosystems.

The Marine Institute works with national and international partners to observe and understand how our ocean is changing. The Marine Institute's scientific expertise and infrastructure is used to produce fit-for-purpose ocean observation, impact analysis, projections of future change and policy support to facilitate Ireland's resilience to a changing ocean.

"Climate change is one of the greatest challenges facing our world today," said Patricia Orme, Joint Acting CEO of the Marine Institute. "There is significant demand for greatly enhanced knowledge and services that allow us to observe the changes to our ocean, project and model likely future scenarios and support adaptation planning. Forecasting ocean and climate change are important activities that support the scientific advice to many government policies and research initiatives".

"Ireland is uniquely positioned to be at the forefront of efforts to better understand global ocean challenges and provide essential national services in observing and projecting the regional and local impacts of climate change" added Patricia Orme.

In the third episode of the Oceans of Learning podcast, presenter Finn van der Aar is joined by Samantha Hallam, ocean and climate scientist at Maynooth University, Dr Ken Whelan, Research Director with the Atlantic Salmon Trust and Dr Triona McGrath, Research Lead at An Fóram Uisce, The Water Forum, to shed some light on the past, present and future of climate change and the effects on our oceans.

Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann will also share how our ocean influences our climate and weather in a video resource. On the Maritime Ireland podcast, marineM6 Data buoy. Photo Credit Tomas Szumski, Marine Institute journalist Tom MacSweeney interviews Mick Gillooly, Joint Acting CEO at the Marine Institute, about the Irish Marine Data Buoy Observation Network, which has provided crucial data for weather forecasting and safety at sea for the past 20 years.

The Marine Institute's Sea Science Series with Mark Langtry, 'The Science Guy' introduces children to how our oceans and climate are connected. Mark brings the wonders of sea science to the screen with his entertaining, sometimes explosive, and totally educational sea science shows. The four-part series includes episodes on ocean acidification, creating ocean currents, and experiments on temperature and salinity.

Speaking about the Sea Science Series, Mark Langtry said, "I'm delighted to partner with the Marine Institute to bring the wonders of the ocean to life, through visual demonstrations, experiments and activities to inspire, educate and engage everyone with the science of the seas. We hope they will be an enjoyable educational resource for anyone hoping to develop an understanding of how important and essential the ocean is for life."

To view the suite of resources available for Oceans of Learning this week, visit Our Ocean: Our Climate at www.marine.ie The Oceans of Learning podcast is available to download from Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

For more information, follow the Marine Institute on Facebook Marine Institute Ireland, Twitter @MarineInst, LinkedIn Marine Institute Instagram @marineInstituteIreland and YouTube MarineInstituteIRL

ENDS

For further information, please contact:
Sinéad Coyne e. sinead [dot] coyne [at] marine [dot] ie m. +353 (0)87 947 7090
Sheila Byrnes e. sheila [dot] byrnes [at] marine [dot] ie m. +353 (0)87 225 0871