Thus geology, meteorology, oceanography and anthropology developed into distinct sciences.
The International Research Council formed just after the war constituted a section for Physical Oceanography, which held its first meeting in Paris in 1921.
All ocean currents vary from year to year in their strength of flow and the main interest of physical oceanography in recent years has been the tracing-out of these variations and the search for the causes.
Mill, The Realm of Nature (1913); J enkins, Oceanography (1921); J.
Oceanography is the science which deals with the ocean, and since the ocean forms a large part of the earth's surface oceanography is a large department of geography.
Of recent years the use of " hydrography " as the equivalent of physical oceanography has acquired a certain currency, but as the word is also used with more than one other meaning (see Surveying) it ought not to be used for oceanography.
Like geography, oceanography may be viewed in two different ways, and is conveniently divided into general oceanography, which deals with phenomena common to the whole ocean, and special oceanography, which has to do with the individual characteristics of the various divisions of the ocean.
This article is restricted to general oceanography in its physical aspects, the closely-related meteorological,, biological and economic aspects being dealt with elsewhere.
When research in oceanography began, the conditions of the sea were of necessity observed only from the coast and from islands, the information derived from mariners as to the condition of parts of the sea far from land being for the most part mere anecdotes bearing on the marvellous or the frightful.
The contents of these logs, it is true, refer more to maritime meteorology than to oceanography properly so-called, as their main purpose is to promote a rational system of navigation especially for sailing ships, and they are supplied by the voluntary co-operation of the sailors themselves.
Valuable observations were made in oceanography during the expeditions of Captain James Cook and the polar explorers, especially those of Sir John Ross in the north and Sir James Ross in the south, but the voyage of H.M.S.
" Challenger " in1872-1876formed an epoch marking the end of the older order of things and the beginning of modern oceanography as a science of precision.
In the course, of investigating this special problem great improvements were made in the methods of observing in the deep sea, and also in the representation and discussion of the data obtained, and a powerful stimulus was given to the study of oceanography in all the countries of Europe.
The efforts of individual scientific workers cannot as a rule produce such results in oceanography as in other sciences, but exceptions are found in the very special services rendered by the prince of Monaco, who founded the Oceanographical Institute in Paris and the Oceanographical Museum in Monaco; and by Professor Alexander Agassiz in the investigation of the Pacific.
Modern oceanography has found means to calculate quantitatively the circulatory movements produced by wind and the distribution of temperature and salinity not only at the surface but in deep water.
The greater divisions of "the sea," in this sense, are called oceans, and are dealt with under the heading Ocean And Oceanography, the latter being the term now generally applied to the scientific study of the sea.