Page 21: of Marine Technology Magazine (June 2017)

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At the National Oceanography Center (NOC) in Southampton, U.K. for Ocean Business 2017, Marine Technology Reporter was able to sit down with Professor Ed Hill, NOC Executive Director, to discuss the science and technologies moving ocean studies forward.

By Greg Trauthwein

Please give an overview of your activities here at the Na- 70 percent of them will be living within 70 km of the coast in tional Oceanography Center. low-lying coastal regions and megacities around the world. The National Oceanography Center is part of the Natu- And so that sparks three big issues: ? rst, how are we going to ral Environment Research Council which is the main body feed 9 billion people, where are we going to get clean supplies that funds environmental science, including oceanography, in of energy to power our economies, where are we going to get the U.K. We are a national facility. We undertake research in the strategic minerals that we need in the future, and the new large-scale oceanography, everything from physics and cli- medicines that we’re going to need to combat disease? We are mate through to ocean biology through to sea ? oor processes, looking to the ocean for the solution to many of those ques- with a big program in marine technology development and tions, and we need to be able to exploit those resources in a innovation. We also run major national infrastructure like our sustainable way such that the oceans’ future productive capac- global class research ships, the Discovery and James Cook, as ity and the ability to continue to supply resources is as good well as the National Oceanographic Data Center. So we’re an tomorrow as it is today. So that’s the ? rst big challenge.

asset here to do great science but also to enable the whole of The second one is most of those 9 billion people are go- the U.K science community based in universities to be able to ing to be living in low-lying coastal regions and vulnerable do big ocean science, as well. to coastal ? ooding, which is the biggest natural disaster risk that faces most people across the world. Here in Britain, our

Obviously, the ocean is very near and dear to your heart. biggest natural disaster risk is storm surge ? ooding and our

But from your point of view, why study the oceans? capital city, which is very low-lying and very vulnerable to There are really three big challenges facing society. By coastal ? ooding. 2050 there are going to be 9 billion people living on earth, and And then the ? nal challenge is how do we make sense of

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