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The role of the ocean and its tides in the control of Earth’s climate, with Professor John Simpson

June 7, 2022 @ 7:30 pm

Tues 7 June

The role of the ocean and its tides in the control of Earth’s climate, with Professor John Simpson

John Simpson

Scientists have long been working to understand the way the Earth’s Climate operates and how it is reacting to the increasing pressures exerted by the large-scale burning of fossil fuels. It is, however, only in the last few decades that it has been possible to assemble a compelling case that, in the global warming era, we are up against existential threats to the Earth’s ecosystem and our civilisation, if we do not respond wisely and rapidly.

The climate is a complex and intricate system in which the ocean, with its massive, thermal capacity and powerful ocean currents and tides, plays a central role.

In this talk, I will endeavour to explain the basics of the climate system and the way the ocean works within it, before going on to consider how the ocean is reacting to the rapid increase in greenhouse gases.

We shall see that the ocean can help in mitigating the effects of global warming, for a while at least, but the ocean is also vulnerable to positive feedback processes which are accelerating warming through the reduction of ice cover and the release of more carbon into the atmosphere from marine sediments.

John Simpson served as Professor of Physical Oceanography at the University of Wales, Bangor (1981-2014) and has a broad range of interests in the physical processes that control the ocean environment.

He is the author or co-author of more than 160 scientific papers, has served as a member of the UK Natural Environment Council and was Chairman of the NERC North Sea Community Project.  He has been Head of the University of Wales, Bangor School of Ocean Sciences 1996-2000, and has held visiting professorships at the Virginia Institute of Marine Sciences (1989), the University of  New South Wales (1990) and at the University of Toulon and the Var (2002).

In 2008 he was awarded both The Fritdjof Nansen Medal “for outstanding research in Oceanography” and The Challenger Medal “for an exceptional contribution to Marine Science”.

7.30pm in the Denham Room of the Priory Street Centre, York YO1 6ET.


June 7, 2022
7:30 pm


York Humanists


Denham Room, Priory St Centre
15 Priory St
York, YO1 6ET
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01904 621133
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