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Microbes

Polar marine biology

This week the course focused on marine life. How diverse, abundant and adaptable it is. However, there is one region where life has to deal with extra challenges. A changing light system, from 24 hours of sunlight to complete darkness for months, harsh sub-zero conditions and changes to the composition of seawater from the freezing and thawing of ice. This is of course the Polar Regions (Arctic in the north and the Antarctic in the south). Continue reading →

We want your links!

Dear MOOCers This weeks activity has been to share your info graphics with us relating the amount of salt in the sea, to another known volume, and we have had some amazing creations, I have particularly enjoyed the "7 Billion Elephants" analogy, and the excellent image relating how much sea water would be needed to obtain Juan Mata's weight in salt! One of the highlights of facilitating on this course has been the interaction between students, facilitators and educators, and a lot of... Continue reading →

The ocean and transport

Dear All We have considered the role of heat and salt in ocean transport, and we have discussed how much water there is, and why it is important for our global climate, in addition to this weeks topic addressing some of the diversity, and size of populations within the ocean. We will soon be taking another direction on the course, looking at how we interact with the deep ocean, and the potential economic benefits of exploiting the mineral wealth held there. Continue reading →

#UoSmorestars or #UoSmoremicrobes?

  As a starter for this week, we are asking you whether you think there are more stars in the sky, or more microbes under the sea (FutureLearn). According to calculations, the global ocean contains approximately 4.4 x 1028 living microbial cells. (For anyone not familiar with notation such as 1028, 4.4. x 1028 means 44000000000000000000000000000 living microbial cells, or forty-four octillion if you prefer!). Continue reading →