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National Oceanography Centre

The National Oceanography Centre is one of the world’s top oceanographic institutions. We undertake world leading research in large scale oceanography and ocean measurement technology innovation; working with government and business to turn great science and technology into advice and applications. We support scientists in universities and research institutes with facilities, research infrastructure and irreplaceable data assets – enabling the UK to harness the full power and diversity of its ocean science talent.

Formerly part of the UK Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), the National Oceanography Centre is now an independent self-governing organisation – a charitable company limited by guarantee. The NOC is funded by UK Research and Innovation to work on National Capability programmes, and manages on its behalf, the National Marine Equipment Pool – Europe’s largest fleet of autonomous and robotic vehicles, and two state of the art research ships RRS Discovery and RRS James Cook. The NOC has two sites, Southampton and Liverpool, and employs around 650 staff. We are co-located at both sites with leading UK Universities, giving us a unique position in UK marine research.​ A truly multi-disciplinary centre, our research encompasses Marine Geoscience, Marine Physics and Ocean Climate, Marine Systems Modelling, Ocean Biogeochemistry and Ecosystems, and Ocean Technology and Engineering. We are home to the nation’s marine data assets; the British Oceanographic Data Centre (BODC), the British Ocean Sediment Core Research Facility (BOSCORF) and the Discovery Collections.

We facilitate international co-operation in science by representing the UK internationally, leading the UK delegation of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, through our membership of the European Marine Board, and through partnerships with other research institutions and organisations worldwide.


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Phytoplankon: blooming marvellous. Norman Kuring

Saharan dust feeds the ocean and locks away carbon too

The Saharan dust that clogged air and dirtied cars recently may seem like a nuisance, but in fact contains some essential nutrients – if, that is, you’re phytoplankton. The dust and sand blown from Africa…
The east coast of England in 1953. PA

Are storm surges getting worse?

Brigid, another Atlantic storm, has hit Britain with heavy rain and gale-force winds, especially the already sodden west coast. The last few months have seen very wild weather, including 100mph winds during…


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