The Ocean is one of the most complex and fascinating things on Earth. It contains a tremendous amount of life-forms, and scientists are just beginning to learn about it. In fact, more than 80 percent of it has never been mapped, explored, or even seen.
It’s the largest and most powerful reservoir of water on Earth, covering a vast swath of our planet’s surface. And it’s the biggest player in climate change.
There are five major ocean basins—the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Southern. Each is surrounded by land (see Map of the World) and has different characteristics and features.
Each ocean has a unique personality and chemistry. The average ocean has a pH of 8.2, which is alkaline. But when carbon dioxide is absorbed by seawater, it produces carbonic acid, which lowers the ocean’s pH.
When this process reaches critical levels, the ocean’s chemistry begins to change. That’s called “ocean acidification” and it happens faster than we think.
The biggest problem with ocean acidification is that it’s causing the water to lose its alkalinity. This is bad news for our planet and its marine life.
If the water becomes too acidic, it can change the way fish behave. For example, clownfish, a kind of fish that normally hears and flees predatory noise, may not be able to sense threatening sounds in more acidic waters.
In addition, ocean acidification is causing changes in the ocean’s temperature and depths. It’s also changing the way salts move in the ocean’s water, and how they react to sunlight.
This has important implications for a variety of organisms, including shellfish and other animals that depend on the health of their environment to thrive. It also affects how plants and microbes respond to the seawater’s chemical changes.
There are 226,000 known species of marine animals and plants that live in the ocean. But more than 90 percent of the ocean’s creatures are undiscovered, and it’s possible that a much larger number still calls the ocean home.
The ocean is a big part of the Earth’s ecosystem, providing food and shelter for almost every living thing. It also is an essential part of the global carbon cycle, which transports carbon from air to land and back into the sea.
It is also a source of oxygen for human beings, as well as other organisms that need it to live. The ocean is also an important storehouse of carbon and plays a vital role in weather patterns worldwide.
Another important aspect of the ocean is its ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. This helps to control the climate on Earth by regulating our temperatures and weather patterns.
The ocean is home to an amazing array of animal life, from tiny zooplankton to whales and other large mammals. Despite the challenges that the ocean faces, scientists continue to make discoveries and try to find new ways to protect it and its inhabitants.
The ocean is also the largest reservoir of freshwater on Earth, containing nearly 97 percent of the world’s water supply. This water is essential for all the plants and animals that live on our planet, from bacteria to humans.