When it comes to the weather, most of us think only about what is happening in the atmosphere. If we ignore the ocean, however, we miss a big piece of the picture: covering some 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is a major driver of the world’s weather and climate. The ocean is also a major driver of the global economy, carrying more than 90 per cent of world trade and sustaining the 40 per cent of humanity that lives within 100 km of the coast. Recognizing this, national weather agencies and researchers regularly monitor the ocean, model how it affects the atmosphere and deliver marine services to support coastal management and safety at sea. Today, the growing impacts of climate change are making ocean observations, research and services more critical than ever before.
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