Your selection in the media library
Page 1 : Results 1 to 5 on 28
The climate plays a decisive role in the lives of humanity, resources, human development and health. The ocean has an essential part in the complex mechanisms that govern climate. By storing heat received from the sun and subsequently moving it from the tropics towards the temperate regions, the ocean interacts with the atmosphere and thus helps to make our planet inhabitable. The onset of global warming makes the study of the relationships between the ocean and the climate more than ever a vital challenge for science.
This exhibition aims to inform the public – and especially young people – about the huge role the ocean plays in the Earth’s climate and the climatic changes now taking place. The ocean plays a crucial role, yet this is still not well-known to the general public.
In February 2010, a violent earthquake struck Chile, causing a tsunami 10 m in height. Affecting millions of people, the earthquake and giant wave also transformed the appearance of the coastline: the dunes and sandbars were flattened, and the coast subsided in places by up to 1 m. But although the inhabitants are still affected for the long term, the shore system quickly rebuilt itself. A team from IRD and its Chilean partners( 1) showed that in less than a year, the sedimentary structures had reformed. The Chilean coast therefore represented a unique “natural laboratory” for studying coastal formation processes. The subsidence of the coast also revealed the effects of rising sea levels on shores.
The mangroves of Guyana, in South America, are gradually disappearing. Contrary to the coastline of its near neighbour, French Guiana, which is still relatively protected, that of Guyana has been largely developed. In order to develop agriculture and aquaculture, earth dikes were built, destroying the greater part of the mangrove forest.
A study( 1) conducted by IRD researchers and the University of Aix-Marseille shows that the reduced protection provided by mangroves against the swell will lead to the large-scale erosion of 370 km of the country's coastline. Only one ecosystem restoration programme will help contain this phenomenon.