The study of the marine life and living organisms, the life that lives under the water and their ecology, physical features, the extent and depth of the oceanic water, their composition, movements and the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere is termed as Oceanography. This branch of study is also known as marine science. In the pre-civilization period, Man first started to acquire and gain knowledge of currents and waves in the oceans and seas. It is the scientific study that deals with oceans and the causes and consequences of pollution on marine living bodies, exploitation of oceanic resources, climate change and global warming defects.
Oceanography is divided into four parts:
1) Marine biology or Biological oceanography- the study of the animals, plants, living organisms of the seas and oceans and their ecological interaction is Biological oceanography.
2) Marine chemistry or Chemical oceanography- the study of the chemistry of the seas and ocean, of the dissolved elements in oceanic water and its chemical interaction with the atmosphere is Chemical oceanography. It also includes the history and origin of sea water, the evolution of the sediment particles which cover the ocean floors, their relationship between the chemical composition and also the important changes in the chemistry of the ocean.
3) Marine geology or Geological oceanography– the scientific study of the floor of the ocean and their features, the structure of the earth beneath the oceans, the information about their process and formation of ongoing changes is Geological Oceanography.
4) Marine physics or Physical oceanography- the study of the formation and movement of water and currents in the seas and oceans is Physical oceanography. It also includes the study of temperature and currents of the ocean water and the factors that causes the movement of ocean water like rotation of earth, gravitational force and wind.
Most of the people have looked to the earth’s oceans for hundreds of years with a sense of awe and wonder. Many people like Alex Potoczak are of the opinion that oceanography is a slowly rising concept that has the capacity to change the entire planet. They are able to say this not only because they have a curiosity and keen interest in it, but because of the several inventions and discoveries of cures that are being made from under the seas and oceans. Oceanography has its roots in the intrinsic human desire to learn more about the world around us. The study of oceans may have started with early civilizations, but it is an evolving science with many hidden and unknown mysteries beneath it.
The jobs of oceanographers vary widely depending upon the area of specialization and the focus of their study. For example, Alex Potoczak who has a deep interest in this particular sphere keeps himself updated about the latest evolving of the subject. He feels that oceanographers need to take out more time in preparing and planning strategies to carry out their researches. They may retrieve data from buoys and satellites in the ocean without even leaving their laboratory or office.
To summarize it, oceanography is the science which combines marine biology, chemistry and geology and also physical oceanography which helps in predicting climatic changes and weather conditions, to keep a track on the effects of pollution and exploitation of the marine resources.