Nature Outlook |

Physical oceanography

The oceans are an integral part of our planet’s climate system. Understanding the physical processes at work in the sea is crucial therefore to making accurate predictions about the effects of climate change.

This Nature Outlook is editorially independent, produced with financial support from a third party. About this content.


As the seas rise, our understanding of the processes within them must deepen.

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To predict how much climate change will raise sea level, researchers are studying ice shelves — where vast expanses of ice meet the ocean.

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A discussion of active learning with Nobel laureate Carl Wieman

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