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The University of Southampton

Oceans & Climate Public Lecture  Event

25 September 2017
Institution of Mechanical Engineers, 1 Birdcage Walk, London

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Event details

The third event in our environment public lecture series took place on Monday 25 September 2017 at the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, London and focused on Oceans & Climate.

The World Ocean has changed substantially over the last 60 years. The delicate balance of heat exchange between the ocean and atmosphere has been broken, and the oceans are inexorably warming as a consequence of our carbon dioxide emissions.

In this session, our experts explored and discussed the challenges and innovative approaches used to understand and predict global ocean change. 

Keynote lectures from Professor Stephen Belcher (Met Office Chief Scientist), Martin Visbeck (GEOMAR) and Dr Eleanor Frajka-Williams (Associate Professor in Physical Oceanography, University of Southampton) were preceded by a panel discussion.

Watch the lecture

Keynote speakers

Professor Stephen Belcher

Stephen Belcher is the Met Office Chief Scientist and provides leadership of their scientific research and development. The Met Office team of more than 500 research scientists has earned a world-wide reputation for excellence in weather and climate science and the translation of this science into weather and climate services for daily weather forecasts, emergency response (for example to volcanic eruptions), and into climate change mitigation and adaptation. As Chief Scientist, Stephen has overall responsibility for the leadership and management of the Met Office’s scientific programme, by providing strategic direction, ensuring high quality delivery and nurturing scientific excellence. He represents the Met Office on science and research technology to UK Government, ensuring that the Met Office science programme fits properly into the wider UK environmental science landscape.

Professor Dr Martin Visbeck

Martin Visbeck leads Physical Oceanography at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, Germany. Martin’s research interests include several areas central to the multiple challenges of changing oceans and climate: the role of the ocean in interannual to centennial climate variability; sustained global ocean observations; the North Atlantic Oscillation and its impacts on the ocean; tropical Atlantic climate variability; the dynamics of oxygen minimum zones. Martin is the coordinator of “AtlantOS: Optimizing and Enhancing the Integrated Atlantic Ocean Observing System”, a large-scale EU Horizon-2020 research and innovation project. He currently serves on a number of influential committees, including the Joint Scientific Committee of the World Climate Research Programme, and the Leadership Council of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network. In 2015, Martin was elected as a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.

Dr Eleanor Frajka-Williams

Eleanor Frajka-Williams is Associate Professor in Physical Oceanography in Ocean and Earth Science at the University of Southampton. Eleanor’s research focuses on the large-scale ocean circulation, and its impact on and response to climate change. Eleanor’s research methods are centred on ocean observations, capitalising on synergies between data types. This involves the use of two or more data types – satellite, in situ hydrography, moorings or autonomous platforms – to gain a better understanding of the ocean than would be possible from a single data source. Eleanor’s research spans the Atlantic sector, including the subtropics and both polar regions. At the European Geophysical Union general assembly this year, Eleanor was awarded with the Outstanding Early Career Scientist award for Ocean Sciences 2017.

Joining our keynote speakers for a panel discussion were leading University of Southampton experts;

  • Professor Joerg Wiedenman (Professor of Biological Oceanography & Head of the Coral Reef Laboratory)
  • Dr Bablu Sinha (National Oceanography Centre)


Watch video interviews with the speakers

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Oceans and Climate interviews

Watch interviews with the academics from the Oceans and Climate public lecture

Watch the interviews
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Audience at public lecture
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Keynote speaker
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Keynote speaker
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Discussion panel
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Discussion panel
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Panel taking questions
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