The lecture, “The Gifts of the Ocean and its Future”, was given by Prof. Ken Furuya at 6:00 pm on September 19 at the University of Tokyo New York Office. The talk was presented to 25 attendees including members of the FUTI board and advisory committee, and UTokyo alumni living in and around New York City.
Prof. Furuya is a Director and Executive Vice President of U Tokyo, a professor in the Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and a Director of FUTI. He was in New York to attend the FUTI meetings. Up-to-date information of academic circles was presented in easy terms with varieties of slides. Lively Q&As and discussion were held during and after the lecture for better understanding of the present and future of the ocean environment.
Its important points are as follows:
(1) Phytoplanktons in the ocean are much stronger in regeneration than plants on land, both of which are the respective bases of the food chains. Hence the ecosystem in the ocean as a whole is much stronger in regeneration than that on land. This is the reason why the hunter-gatherer society survives today in the ocean while it ceased to exist on land long time ago. Indeed we are blessed with the life resources in the ocean.
(2) This may however be changing. Global warming raises the surface temperature of the ocean, making the rise and fall of the seawater more difficult. As a result, rich nutrients in the depths are hampered from rising to the surface to support photosynthesis by phytoplankton. This eventually results in depletion of the whole sea ecosystem.
(3) In order for oceanic life resources to be sustainable, it is necessary to classify the vast ocean by environment and ecosystem, and to set forth a system that will enable the ecology to thrive. This requires much needed knowledge and an administering body to oversee the oceans. It is vital to conduct marine biological experiments using observation and data simulation, and to carry out the project with humanitarian alliances across international borders. In the presentation, current advancements in research and action have been introduced.
After the lecture, Dr. Kuwama, Vice President of FUTI, thanked Prof. Furuya for the lecture and commented as follows; “We tend to forget the benefit of the ocean, but we have learned today that it is worth $1,500 per capita. Likewise we tend to forget the benefit from our Alma Mater, U Tokyo. Let’s keep it in our minds.”
Written by Shigenori Matsushita based on summary by Prof. Ken Furuya
Articles in this newsletter:
- FUTI Directors, Masaaki Yamada and Yuichiro Kuwama Elected as the New President and Vice-President, Respectively
- Two Major Donations Avert Revenue Crisis
- FUTI Receives Major Gift from Mixi Founder Kenji Kasahara
- Annual Board Meeting Held
- President Yamada to Receive the Prestigious Maxwell Prize
- Prof. Furuya Lectures in New York: The Gifts of the Ocean and its Future
- Excerpts of Report by 2015 Summer Scholarship Recipients
- University of Tokyo Establishes a New Office in New York