Ocean is the massive, watery body that covers 70% of the planet. It contains an abundance of life and serves a multitude of purposes for humans, including regulation of climate, transport of food, a source of energy, recreation, and more. The world’s oceans are an endless source of fascination, but it’s important to remember that they’re also in trouble. Many environmental threats, such as ocean acidification, can be traced back to human activities like the burning of fossil fuels and pollution.
Oceans are in constant motion, a fact which is sometimes lost on people who view them from land. They’re propelled around the globe in sweeping currents, their waves transfer energy across entire ocean basins, and their tides reliably flood and ebb every day. The movements of oceans are determined by a number of factors, including the Coriolis Effect (the apparent force that causes an object to veer to the right or left depending on which hemisphere it’s in).
One of the most significant forces is gravity. This pull causes water to sink in places where it’s denser, and rise in areas where it’s less dense. Differences in temperature and salinity also influence the movement of ocean water. Wind and the Earth’s rotation also affect ocean movement.
While oceans may seem vast and largely inaccessible, they’re actually very complicated. Scientists divide the ocean into different zones based on their biological characteristics and physical properties. They use this division to better understand how the ocean works, and how it might change over time.
The ocean is home to 230,000 species of marine animals and plants. Its waters contain a wealth of nutrients, providing a source of food for all living things that call it home. The ocean is also a natural greenhouse, helping to regulate the Earth’s temperature.
Humans have long been using the ocean for trade and exploration. We rely on the ocean to protect us from storms and to supply our food.
There are many ways you can help save the ocean. Start by reducing your consumption of fossil fuels, which will help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. You can also recycle, use reusable bags, buy sustainable seafood, and choose nontoxic cleaning products. Volunteering at a local beach to clean up trash is another great way to help. Just remember that it’s all about small actions—if we all do a little, it adds up to a heck of a lot. Donate to an organization that’s working hard to protect the ocean, and remember that even a small donation will go a long way towards supporting their efforts. Believe in the power of small actions—it’s the only way to guarantee a bright future for our blue planet.