Under the Surface

The ocean profoundly impacts human society, producing oxygen, carrying goods, absorbing excess heat, providing energy, taking carbon dioxide and housing vital communication links.

There is only one ocean, divided into large basins. It is completely interconnected – moving vast amounts of water, heat, chemicals and microscopic life around the planet, without national or political boundaries. It has powerful influences on all parts of the Earth – the atmosphere above, crust below, ice-covered regions and the land’s coastal zones.

All these interactions in turn shape the ocean and its life. Here we explore the ocean, its processes, its impact on our lives, how we study it and the life within it.

Marine Geohazards

Underwater landslides, volcanoes and tsunamis can have devastating impacts on people and property around the world. These often invisible dangers are being investigated by our world leading experts to provide hazard planning and contingency for a more resilient future.

Learn more about marine geohazards

Marine Heatwaves

The ocean supports the livelihood of over three billion people and provides the main protein source for one billion people worldwide. Marine heatwaves negatively impact this complex ecosystem, causing devastating effects to marine life and our society. Due to climate change, marine heatwaves are becoming more frequent, more intense, and longer lasting.

Learn more about marine heatwaves


Seagrass meadows are the powerhouses of coastal seas providing a nature-based solution to climate change. They have been neglected for decades, which has led to their large-scale degradation and loss. This loss now provides an opportunity for environmental renewal through large-scale restoration.

Learn more about seagrass

In the Twilight Zone

Beneath the surface of the ocean, where sunlight runs out, an inmportant and vast ecosystem teeming with life, begins… from two hundred metres below the surface, and ending at 1km down.

Visit the Twilight Zone

Plastics in the Ocean

The visible effects of plastic entering the ocean are sadly all too clear to us now, and unfortunately our research shows that visible plastic is just the tip of this iceberg. How much more might there be and what impact is it having on the delicate ocean ecosystem?

Read about ocean plastics

Monsters of the Deep

Much of the ocean remains a mystery, and only a fraction of the life which dwells within has been discovered. That which has, is often strange and otherworldly, giving way to folklore and intrigue. Hold your breath, dive in, and meet the monsters of the deep!

Meet the monsters

Actions for the Ocean Decade

The Ocean Decade is a collective global initiative, with a transformative vision to harness ‘the science we need for the ocean we want’. It will inspire new design, delivery and use of ocean knowledge to enable lasting change to our shared ocean.

More about the Ocean Decade

Big Science for Big Challenges

By 2025 there will be nine billion people on Earth, with populations growing fastest in low-lying coastal regions. We are increasingly turning to the oceans to address the three big challenges.

Read about the challenges