What Is the Ocean?

Ocean is the vast body of water that covers most of our planet. It’s also an ecosystem that is constantly changing and teeming with life. Scientists are always learning new things about our oceans, and there is still much to explore.

Our planet’s oceans supply at least half of the oxygen we breathe, store about 50 times more carbon than the atmosphere, and influence the climate by constantly transferring heat from the Equator to the Poles. They are also a habitat for many species of animals, including dolphins, whales, and tuna.

The sea is salty because when rain falls on the land, it dissolves some of the minerals and salts in the rocks and soil. This runoff carries the salts to rivers and streams, where they eventually flow into the ocean. Over time, this process makes the ocean saltier and richer in minerals and other nutrients.

While we may think of the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, and Arctic oceans as separate bodies of water, they are all part of one enormous ocean system. The same water that laps the rocky shores of Maine will ultimately reach the beaches of Thailand. This is why oceanographers call Earth’s seawater the world ocean.

The newest addition to the oceans is the Southern Ocean, which extends south of Antarctica and includes parts of the Indian and Arctic Oceans as well. The Southern Ocean is the smallest and deepest of all the oceans. It is also the most acidic of all the oceans, and it has the quickest rate of warming in the world.

An octopus uses its arms to move through the water, but not all animals have such flexible appendages. Some use their fins to help them swim, while others are propelled by jets of air. Regardless of their method, most marine creatures use their bodies to travel through the oceans and find food, shelter, and mates.

National Geographic Explorer Marcello Calisti believes that we are only discovering a fraction of the amazing ocean species out there. He is working to design a robot that moves like an octopus, and he hopes that future generations will continue to study the seafloor and the creatures that call it home.

Some of the most fascinating habitats in the ocean are those that are only open when the tide is out. Beachgoers can discover tiny pools of water left behind when the tide recedes, and these “tide pools” provide havens for small sea creatures. Other examples include coral reefs and kelp forests, which look like giant underwater trees. Some of these habitats are threatened by rising sea temperatures and increasing levels of pollution. Rising sea temperatures and acidification make it more difficult for ocean animals to build their shells and skeletons from calcium carbonate. They are also corroding existing shells and skeletons. This has become a huge problem because the shells and skeletons provide protection from predators and a way for animals to breathe. These habitats are vital for the survival of many marine species.

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