Matthew Palmer: Beyond the Tides

Dr Matthew Palmer is an oceanographer investigating how ocean physics supports marine ecosystems and helps control Earth’s climate. Based at the UK National Oceanography Centre in Liverpool, Matthew’s work covers a broad range of disciplines from how weather effects phytoplankton to how a changing climate will impact on ocean health and food security in developing countries.

Matthew’s tools of choice are fleets of unmanned ocean robots that can be controlled from a smartphone. Capable of travelling 1000s of kilometres for several months and collecting observations down to 6000m beneath the sea surface, these robots provide an important step towards a better understanding of our Earth system. Matthew provides advice to government on ocean processes and encourages next-generation environmental scientists and technologists through a range of outreach activities.

Talk: Beyond the tides: how the moon fuels ocean life and helps control Earth’s climate

Imagine tides 10s or even 100s of metres high travelling around Earth’s oceans, stirring up nutrient-rich waters from the deep to fuel ecosystems, control heat and regulate our climate. This is the reality beneath the sea surface as the moon pulls the tides back and forth over mountains on the sea floor, generating waves far bigger than anything you could ever see at the beach. These waves transmit energy over long distances and produce the mixing required to fuel the growth of microscopic plants called phytoplankton that provide the base of the food chain for ocean life. This mixing also helps regulate Earth’s temperature and controls how carbon dioxide and other gases are stored within the ocean. Find out how scientists at the UK National Oceanography Centre are using ships, robots and satellites to measure and understand our oceans and discover how the moon reaches far beyond the sea surface to help fuel life on Earth.

Dot Talks, Star Pavilion Sunday 2019

Recommended Artists