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OCEANOGRAPHY:

The assessment for this module consists of a 100% coursework component in the form of an extended essay (max: 3000 words).prepare an essay on one the following topics which are directly related to the lecture programme outlined in the module guide.

a) In Earth’s early history, when did oceans and life first appear and what were their characteristics? Discuss the evidence and evaluate its interpretation.

b) Evaluate the geological evidence for so-called ‘Snowball Earth’ glacial episodes in thePrecambrian and the hypothesis that these episodes were critical in the evolution of complex life.

c) Review and critically discuss the evidence that Late Cenozoicglobal cooling may have been caused by organic uplift during the last 40million years.

d) Discuss how evidence from the world's oceans has been used to identify rapidenvironmental change at the end of the last glacial period.

e) Critically evaluate the relative importance of the physical oceanic and atmospheric mechanisms thatcontrol the El Nino Southern Oscillation(ENSO) Phenomenon in the Pacific Ocean.

f) Critically evaluate the extent to which global warming may impact EITHER the ocean’s biologicalsystems OR: the functioning of the deep ocean thermohaline circulation. Where possible, use analoguesfrom the geological past.

g) Discuss the role of sea-ice in driving ArcticOcean circulation and evaluate the influence of the Arctic Ocean upon global ocean water masses.

h) Radioactivity in the marine environment, contaminant or tracer? Discuss.

i) "There has long been a belief that the sea, at least, was inviolate, beyond man's ability to change and todespoil. But this belief, unfortunately, has proved to be naïve” (Rachel Carson). With reference to marine pollution, discuss the extent to which this statement is valid.

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