The Ocean is a vast area of water that covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface. It is a vital part of our global ecosystem. It regulates climate, controls temperature, and provides the food supply for animals including humans. It is also a source of minerals, energy and transportation.
Scientists are currently exploring an exciting new area of the Ocean – the Arctic. They hope to better understand the biological and geological processes that are happening here.
A person who loves the ocean is called an “ocean lover”. They may have a passion for surfing, diving or just being in the presence of this great natural resource. They are aware of the importance that the ocean has on our planet and they want to help protect it.
Ocean life ranges from the smallest organisms to the largest whales. The smallest of these, microscopic phytoplankton, are the basis of all ocean food webs. These tiny plants use photosynthesis to convert sunlight into energy and oxygen. This is how all living things get their energy and it is what we rely on to survive.
There are countless ways in which people interact with the ocean, ranging from commercial fishing and seaweed farming to recreational boating, cruising, swimming and scuba diving. In addition, the ocean is used for shipping and trade, tourism and recreation (seaside resorts), fish farming, seafood processing and the production of bioavailable vitamins and fatty acids in marine algae (marine phytoplankton). The ocean is also an important resource for power generation through offshore wind and marine solar and nuclear technology. The ocean provides a rich source of mineral resources such as salt, gypsum and iron.
The ocean is made up of a mixture of salts and other chemicals that are dissolved in the water. The chemical composition of the ocean water changes with temperature and with depth. The temperature and salinity differences create a vertical gradient, a halocline or pycnocline, that regulates ocean currents. The chemistry of the water also influences the rate at which carbon dioxide is transferred between deep and surface waters.
The ocean has a profound impact on our lives, regardless of whether we live near the coast or in the middle of the city. When we turn on our faucets, the water we drink is from the Ocean, as are the chemicals that make the toothpaste in our bathroom. The food we eat comes from the Ocean, as do the minerals and gases that make up the air we breathe. Even the electricity we use to power our computers and televisions is generated from Ocean currents. The Ocean is a vital part of our world and we must work together to ensure that it continues to be a place of wonder, health and opportunity for all. Oceans around the world are experiencing serious environmental problems, mainly caused by human activities. This is resulting in the loss of biodiversity and threatening the survival of many species.