Ocean is the world’s largest source of water—covering over 97 percent of Earth’s surface. It plays a critical role in regulating Earth’s climate, temperature, food supply, and more. It is also home to an incredible diversity of life, from microscopic algae and tiny sea stars to the massive blue whale.
There are many different types of living things in the ocean, including plants, animals, and bacteria. Some live near the surface, and others live deep in the ocean. The most common organisms are algae and small fish that eat the algae. These organisms make the food they need through a process called photosynthesis, which converts sunlight and carbon dioxide into energy and oxygen. The algae are known as phytoplankton, and they can be seen when billions of them form green or blue splotches in the ocean.
Other organisms live in the epipelagic zone, which is the top layer of the ocean where sunlight can reach them. These organisms include seagrass, which is a type of land plant that lives in the ocean, and large algae such as kelp, which is known as seaweed. These plants and algae have roots, stems, and leaves, and they use the energy from the sun to grow and make their own food. They provide a source of food for other marine plants and animals, including clams and oysters.
In addition to photosynthesis, these organisms can also help to clean the ocean. They break down dead organisms and other organic waste, allowing nutrients to be recycled back into the ocean. This helps prevent the buildup of harmful algal blooms and dangerous anaerobic zones (dead zones).
The nutrient rich water that forms the surface of the ocean is constantly being stirred up by wind, changes in density or buoyancy, and Earth’s rotation. These processes can cause the surface of the ocean to curve, either away from a coast or toward another. This is called the Coriolis effect.
The currents that flow through the ocean are driven by these forces, and they carry heat from the tropics to the poles, and cool, nutrient rich water up from the depths. This is what keeps the ocean from becoming too hot or too cold, and provides a rich supply of oxygen to all the living things in it. This is one of the reasons why we need to protect our oceans. Our entire planet depends on them for warmth, food, and transportation. Oceans are also a source of inspiration, and a source of adventure.