Earth is home to a huge story that is rarely told – that of our ocean. Not the fish or the dolphins, but the massive ocean engine itself: what it does, why it works, and the many ways it has influenced animals, weather and human history & culture. In her talk, physicist Helen Czerski took us on a figurative deep dive to illuminate the murky depths of the ocean engine, examining the messengers, passengers and voyagers that live in it, travel over it, and survive because of it. From the ancient Polynesians who navigated the Pacific by reading the waves to permanent residents of the deep such as the Greenland shark that can live for hundreds of years, she explains the vast currents, invisible ocean walls and underwater waterfalls that all have their place in the ocean’s complex, interlinked system.
Helen’s talk help us understand the ocean’s crucial role in our future. Drawing on years of experience at the forefront of marine science, she communicated the magnitude and subtlety of Earth’s defining feature, showing us the thrilling extent to which we are at the mercy of this great engine.