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Five easy questions put to the sea
van Andel, Tj. H. (1986). Five easy questions put to the sea. Neth. J. Sea Res. 20(2-3): 103-107
In: Netherlands Journal of Sea Research. Netherlands Institute for Sea Research (NIOZ): Groningen; Den Burg. ISSN 0077-7579, more
Peer reviewed article  

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  • van Andel, Tj. H.

    Since the 1940s progress in oceanography has been rapid and many once puzzling issues have been resolved. Fortunately, increasing understanding has also brought forth increasingly profound questions which, to the greater inspiration of the oceanographer, remain unanswered. Looking back across one third of a century, the author suggests five questions which we would like to see answered as soon as convenient. These are: 1) why did in the Jurassic the carbonate and silica cycles in the ocean suddenly come under biological control?; 2) to what degree did the level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and oceans fluctuate why, and what was the impact on past climates?; 3) when did the abyss first become accessible to life with an oxygen-based metabolism?; 4) is a decipherable record of the past compositions of sea water contained in hydrothermically altered oceanic basalts now preserved on continents and what can it tell us?; and 5) what kind of coastal environments and communities managed to adapt to the most rapid Quarternary sea-level changes?

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