Ocean is a huge body of saltwater that covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface. It supplies more than half of the world’s oxygen and stores 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere. It also influences the climate of our planet by absorbing heat and carbon dioxide, regulating weather patterns and preventing abrupt temperature fluctuations.
It’s important to remember that there is only one global ocean, even though geographers and countries have traditionally divided it into four distinct seas: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic oceans. In addition, there is a fifth ocean, the Southern Ocean, that surrounds Antarctica and is not separated from land by any other sea.
The most well-known oceans have names that suggest their location – the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea are just a few examples. But it gets a bit confusing because not all bodies of water with the word ‘sea’ in their name are actually considered to be part of a sea, and there is no precise definition of what makes a sea different from an ocean. Some are simply grouped together because they share certain characteristics, like being bordered by land, while others, such as the Sargasso Sea, are not defined by any separating land masses but are instead categorized by their position within the current system.
All the waters of the Earth are connected to the Ocean through the water cycle, which involves evaporation, rain and the return of that rain to the Ocean. Without this process, most of our planet would be desert. Every living thing needs water to survive, and the Ocean is the source of this essential resource.
In addition, the Ocean provides a wealth of natural resources. Its fish supply many people with protein, and the algae and other plantlike organisms that live in the sea provide us with food, medicine, building materials and fuel. The ocean also contains a great deal of oxygen, which is produced by the photosynthesis of these plants.
The ocean is an important part of our ecosystem, and it is home to an astonishing diversity of life forms. It is a source of inspiration for scientists and artists and attracts tourists from around the world. Millions of people depend on the ocean for their livelihood, whether as fishers, harbour workers, lifeguards, surf instructors or ocean-based tour operators, holiday accommodations, marine-based businesses or simply as ocean nomads!
The ocean is a huge reservoir of energy, and its warm waters are constantly circulating. They absorb solar energy near the surface, and then currents transport that heat north and south, towards the equator and towards the poles. This constant transfer of heat influences our climate, with the warmer water near the equator tending to be warmer and the cooler water further north being colder. It is also important to note that the ocean is a huge source of oxygen, with phytoplankton producing at least 50% of the world’s oxygen in our atmosphere.