The ocean is a body of salt water that covers about 71 percent of Earth’s surface. It is a vast, complex system that influences climate and supports life. The ocean is divided into many distinct regions and varies in size from place to place.
The world ocean is the largest of Earth’s bodies of water and contains 97% of the planet’s total water. It is also the most biodiverse habitat, containing over 230,000 species.
Despite its importance to the environment, most people have limited knowledge of the ocean. Fortunately, there are many resources available to help people gain an understanding of this beautiful and important part of our planet’s ecosystem.
A printable ocean map labeling activity for kids is included in the resource. They can cut out the names of each ocean and paste them into the correct position on the map.
This is a good way to learn about the ocean and its different parts while having fun. This map can be used in geography notebooks and other classroom supplies.
The ocean is divided into many zones based on conditions and biological processes. The most biologically productive zone is the photic zone, which extends from the surface to a depth of about 1% of the sunlight (about 200 m in the open ocean).
Plants and microscopic algae living in the photic zone use light, water, and nutrients to create organic matter. They form an important food chain for a variety of marine organisms.
They absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and release oxygen, a process that helps regulate the climate of our planet. The resulting gas exchange provides vital climate services, including a constant transfer of heat from the Equator to the poles and evaporation that brings rain to much of the Earth’s land surfaces.
Coral reefs are a major part of the marine ecosystem, protecting coastlines from storms and offering essential nutrients to some fish. They are also known to contain medicinal properties that have been used in developing new medicine for diseases like cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
Increasing ocean acidification is a major concern for scientists and conservationists alike. This process affects the chemical composition of seawater and may cause harm to corals, shellfish, and other organisms that rely on specific levels of acidity to thrive.
The ocean’s pH is about 8.2 on average, but has been steadily decreasing due to global warming and industrial emissions of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. The change in the ocean’s pH is caused by a combination of weathering of continental rocks that naturally occur in seawater and the release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel combustion in the atmosphere.
It is estimated that this increase in carbon dioxide has lowered the average surface ocean’s pH by 26 percent since the dawn of industrialization, a rate 100 times faster than it has occurred over tens of millions of years.
This is a very important issue for science and conservationists to be aware of, and it’s one that will only continue to grow in importance as we head into an age when the human population is expected to reach the moon’s population threshold. We can do our part to combat this problem by making sure that the ocean is properly cleaned and regulated, as well as by using sustainable, environmentally friendly sources of energy.