Oceanography Beyond Earth: A Frontier in Ocean Sciences

Christopher R German, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA, United States, Kevin R Arrigo, Stanford University, Earth System Science, Stanford, CA, United States, Alison E Murray, Desert Research Institute Reno, Division of Earth and Ecosystem Sciences, Reno, NV, United States, Alyssa Rhoden, Arizona State University, Tempe, United States and Britney E Schmidt, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, United States
Since the turn of the millennium, compelling new evidence has been revealed for liquid water oceans in the outer reaches of our solar system, together with increasing evidence for exoplanets in other star systems that could host liquid water at their surface. This opens the door for new areas of research in Planetary Oceanography, drawing on expertise in Earth's Oceans, as well as in Planetary Science, to help prepare for and plan future Space Missions to Ocean Worlds. Reciprocally, it will be possible to conduct comparative studies using those future mission data to help validate our understanding of how the fundamental processes upon which Earth's oceans operate. We have proposed a panel discussion, therefore, in which the emphasis will be two-fold - bridging between Earth and Planetary Sciences. We will seek to introduce the audience to what is already known concerning oceans beyond Earth from past missions, and what future planned missions already seek to investigate. Simultaneously, we will seek to provide illustrations of the ways in which oceanographic expertise, including polar studies, can be harnessed to develop better-informed approaches to studying oceans beyond Earth.