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Over 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans giving earth then name ‘The Blue Planet’. The oceans contain 97% of the world’s water and produces 50% of the world’s oxygen---that’s every other breath you take. Since the 1950s, over 90% of the excess heat trapped in the atmosphere predominantly by man-made greenhouse gases has been stored in the ocean---in other words, ‘global warming’ could as accurately be described as ‘ocean warming’. Understanding the oceans is key to understanding how the Earth works. This course is designed for those who are interested in a holistic understanding of the ocean but who don’t have a scientific background. The course will discuss a range of fundamental topics, including ocean currents, sea level, primary production and carbon in the ocean, and look at selected special topics in more detail, including plastics in the ocean and Ireland’s ocean: the northeast Atlantic.