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The polar oceans and global climate

Tuesday, July 16, 2019 - 18:00 to 19:00
Berrill Lecture Theatre, Walton Hall, The Open University, MK7 6AA

As The Open University celebrates its 50th anniversary, Mark Brandon, Professor in Polar Oceanography, will deliver his inaugural lecture on the polar oceans and global climate and look ahead to what could happen during the next 50 years.

Attend in person


Over the last 50 years both the physical environment and our perception of the polar regions has changed. Then, we were still exploring their basic geography, but now we understand the future impacts of our carbon emissions on the great polar ice sheets. Polar bears and penguins were only seen in zoos and now amazing television documentaries show hundreds of millions of people these animals in their natural habitat. With the revolution in global knowledge from satellites and broadcast, at one level the polar regions are now well known. But they remain remote.

We now understand that the ice-covered polar oceans are critical for the climate of our planet. In this lecture Professor Brandon will describe the polar seas, how they work, and their global importance. He will show how research has fed into polar broadcast and how using the series co-produced by the BBC and The Open University, we can teach science to millions. Components of our television broadcast with real time polar data, can even be utilised by distance learning students to learn basic science and get the best possible understanding of what is happening there right now.

About Professor Mark Brandon

A Professor in Polar Oceanography at The Open University, Mark Brandon has over 25 years’ experience of leading successful large projects in research and teaching. He is one of two STEM Open Media Fellows, responsible for co‐ordinating and leading free learning and broadcast across The Open University’s Faculty of Science, Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). Professor Brandon won the 2012 Times Higher Education award for Most Innovative Teacher of the Year and his main research interest is polar oceans and the physical processes that happen in them. His research has informed several BBC programmes such as Blue Planet, Blue Planet II, Frozen Planet, Earth from Space and Coast.

Read more about Professor Brandon

Event Programme

Timings Item
17:00 - 17:50 Registrations and refreshments
18:00 - 18:40 Inaugural lecture: The polar oceans and global climate
18:40 - 19:00 Q & A
19:00 - 20:00 Drinks reception

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Please take the opportunity to have your questions answered by our speakers LIVE during the event:  

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