The ocean is the world’s largest body of liquid water, covering 70% of Earth’s surface. It is composed of 1.35 billion cubic kilometers (350 million cubic miles) of seawater, with an average depth of over 1,500 meters (4,900 feet).
The Ocean regulates our climate and creates weather
Our planet’s oceans absorb solar radiation, heat and a large part of the Earth’s carbon dioxide. These factors change our climate and weather and can affect the health of life on earth.
These factors also help make the ocean a home and food source for many fish, marine mammals, plants and birds. In addition, the ocean can provide us with rest and relaxation when we are at the sea or near it.
This is because it contains high levels of magnesium which calms our nervous system and reduces stress. This in turn can be beneficial to our well-being, and we should try to spend as much time as possible in the sea.
The Ocean is full of amazing creatures
Our oceans are home to a staggering range of life-forms from microscopic organisms like phytoplankton that rely on sunlight for survival to whales and other giant animals that can reach 33 metres (108 feet) in length. They are also home to an incredible array of microorganisms and viruses that play a critical role in the marine ecosystem.
Phytoplankton are the basis of our ocean food web, providing half of our oxygen supply through photosynthesis. Animals that eat phytoplankton include krill (type of shrimp), fish, and microscopic organisms called zooplankton.
A vast ecosystem
The ocean plays a vital role in the entire planet’s lifecycle and provides much of our food and energy. It is home to a diverse and complex ecosystem that contains countless species of plants, animals and fungi.
These species are all dependent on the ocean, and we should not take for granted how much it provides us with. We should strive to protect it so that future generations can enjoy it as well.
We should take advantage of its natural resources and explore it to understand more about our planet. We should use our knowledge of the ocean to improve our lifestyle and protect it from pollution, overfishing and other negative influences.
Scientists have discovered that a small area off the coast of Italy and another in Papua New Guinea are ‘natural laboratories’ for studying ocean acidification. In these ‘acidic zones’, carbon dioxide bubbles into the water from underwater volcanoes, making it unusually acidic. This makes it harder for fish to breathe and may impede their ability to hunt, affecting the entire marine ecosystem.
A major reason for the increased acidity of our oceans is that we are releasing increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere through fossil fuel combustion. The increasing concentration of this gas in the ocean is causing ocean acidification, which is threatening our planet’s ecosystem and food supply.
A wide range of human activities impact the ocean, from navigation and exploration to transportation, leisure and food production. These activities have a direct influence on the marine habitats and the animals and plants that live there, as well as on global food and trade routes.