Ocean is the largest body of salt water on Earth. Its vast size makes it a crucial part of life on earth, providing food, transportation and an essential ecosystem service for marine organisms.
It also helps to keep our planet livable by absorbing solar energy and distributing it throughout the world’s oceans via ocean currents. This allows the oceans to cool and warm, regulating climate and driving much of earth’s weather patterns.
There are two major bodies of ocean, the Pacific and Atlantic, and many bordering seas. The Pacific has the largest surface area, followed by the Atlantic.
Deep oceans are largely featureless. Their depths range from 4,000 to 6,000 meters (13,123 to 19,680 feet).
Abyssal plains are broad, flat areas that cover 30 percent of the ocean floor. They are dotted with pelagic sediments, the remains of tiny ocean organisms that drift down from upper layers of the ocean.
They’re also home to abyssal hills and underwater volcanoes called seamounts.
The oceans are home to a wide array of living organisms, including coral reefs, fish and dolphins. These animals are the foundation for a rich marine ecosystem that provides a wide range of ecosystem services to the global population.
For example, the oceans are important for keeping a large variety of seaweed species alive. These plants produce a variety of nutrients that are vital to animal life.
These plants are also a critical source of oxygen for the marine ecosystem.
As humans rely more and more on ocean resources, we must make sure to protect these critical natural resources in order to ensure they are available for future generations. These resources are key to our health, livelihood and economy.
The health of the ocean is affected by a number of factors, such as climate change and pollution. These factors can impact ocean chemistry, which affects the ability of the marine ecosystem to provide a wide range of ecosystem services.
Increasing amounts of CO2 in the atmosphere are also contributing to ocean acidification. This is a chemical process that converts carbon dioxide into acidic compounds, such as carbonic acid. This acidity is decreasing the pH of surface oceans, a process that has been happening faster than anything the ocean has experienced in tens of millions of years.
Ocean acidification is a serious problem, as it is already affecting the health of our marine ecosystems and their ability to provide a wide range of essential ecosystem services. This is especially true for the oceans of developing nations, where the majority of people rely on maritime industries for their livelihood.
If the ocean is not able to provide these services, then we will face many challenges to our health and wellbeing. These challenges include the loss of biodiversity, pollution and overfishing.
These factors are putting our marine ecosystems at risk, and are limiting the potential economic benefits they could have for our global society. Taking action now to help the ocean recover from these damages is critical for our continued existence and enjoyment of this beautiful resource.