7.01: Significance of Ocean (2023)

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    The oceans makeup 70 percent of the planet and contain 97 percent of all the water on Earth. It also makes up most of the water stores the majority of the planet’s moisture, terrestrial energy, and heat from the Sun. This energy is transferred between the equator and the two poles by larger surface currents by winds and deep ocean currents driven by ocean density differences. It also supplies the moisture and energy for storm systems and, ultimately, global climates.

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    Phytoplankton, microscopic plants, and animals in the oceans provide the foundation of the global food web of species. The earth’s oceans are so vital for life that over 40 percent of the world’s population lives near coastal areas. (Ch 4 Earth’s Hydrosphere, n.d.)

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    As terrestrial creatures, humans think of the importance of the planet’s land surfaces, yet Earth is a planet consisting of 70 percent water. From space, the dominance of water is clear because most of it is stored in Earth’s oceans. (Oceans and Coastal Environments | Earth Science, n.d.)

    Earth would not be the same planet without its oceans. The oceans, along with the atmosphere, keep Earth’s surface temperatures relatively constant worldwide. Some places on Earth reach as cold as -7 degrees Celsius, while other places reach as hot as 55 degrees Celsius. On other planets like Mercury, temperatures range from -180 degrees Celsius to 430 degrees Celsius. (Significance of the Oceans | Physical Geography, n.d.)

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    The oceans, along with the atmosphere, distribute heat around the planet. The oceans absorb heat near the equator and then transport that solar energy to polar regions. The oceans also moderate the climate within a region. At the same latitude, the temperature range is smaller and coastal areas compared to areas farther inland. Along coastal areas, summer temperatures are not as hot, and winter temperatures are not as cold, because water takes a long time to heat up or cool down.

    The oceans are an essential part of Earth’s water cycle. Since they cover so much of the planet, most evaporation comes from the ocean, and most precipitation falls on the oceans.

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    The oceans are also home to an enormous amount of life. That is, they have tremendous biodiversity. Tiny ocean plants create the base of a food web that supports all sorts of life forms. Marine life makes up most of all biomass on Earth. Biomass is the total mass of living organisms in a given area. These organisms supply us with food and even the oxygen created by marine plants.

    Recall from the chapter on Plate Tectonics that the ocean floor is not flat. Mid-ocean ridges, deep-sea trenches, and other features all rise sharply above or plunge deeply below the abyssal plains. Earth’s tallest mountain is Mauna Kea volcano, which rises 10,203 m (33,476 ft.) from the Pacific Ocean floor to become one of the volcanic mountains of Hawaii. The deepest canyon is also on the ocean floor, the Challenger Deep in the Marianas Trench, 10,916 m (35,814 ft). The mapping of the ocean floor and coastal margins is called bathymetry. (Introduction to the Oceans | Earth Science, n.d.)

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    Bathymetry of the Hawaiian Archipelago” by the USGS is licensed as Public Domain.

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    The continental margin is the transition from the land to the deep sea or, geologically speaking, from continental crust to oceanic crust. More than one-quarter of the ocean basin is the continental margin.

    The ocean’s water is a complex system of organic and inorganic substances. Water is a polar molecule that can dissolve many substances such as salts, sugars, acids, bases, and organic molecules. Saltwater comes come water that moves through rock and soil on the land and picks up ions. This is the flip side of weathering. Salts comprise about 3.5 percent of the mass of ocean water, but the salt content or salinity is different in various locations.

    In places like estuaries, seawater mixes with freshwater, causing salinity to be much lower than average. Where there is lots of evaporation, but minimal circulation of water, salinity can be much higher. The Dead Sea has 30 percent salinity, nearly nine times the average salinity of ocean water. It is called the Dead Sea because nothing can survive within it because of its salinity. (Significance of the Oceans | Physical Geography, n.d.)

    In 1960, two scientists in a specially designed submarine called the Trieste descended into a submarine trench called the Challenger Deep (10,910 meters). The average depth of the ocean is 3,790 m, a lot shallower than the deep trenches but still an incredible depth for sea creatures to live in. Three significant factors make the deep ocean hard to inhabit: the absence of light, low temperature, and extremely high pressure. The National Weather Service as information on the layers of the ocean. (Layers of the Ocean | Physical Geography, n.d.)

    Vertical Divisions

    To better understand regions of the ocean, scientists define the water column by depth. They divide the entire ocean into two zones vertically, based on the light level. Large lakes are divided into similar regions. Sunlight only penetrates the sea surface to a depth of about 200 m, creating the photiczone (consisting of the Sunlight Zone and Twilight Zone). Organisms that photosynthesize depend on sunlight for food and so are restricted to the photic zone. Since tiny photosynthetic organisms, known as phytoplankton, supply nearly all of the energy and nutrients to the rest of the marine food web, most other marine organisms live in or at least visit the photic zone. In the aphotic zone (consisting of the Midnight Zone and the Abyss), there is not enough light for photosynthesis. The aphoticzone makes up most of the ocean, but has a small amount of its life, both in the diversity of type and numbers. (Introduction to the Oceans | Earth Science, n.d.)

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    Thermocline” by NOAA is licensed as Public Domain.

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    Horizontal Divisions

    The seabed is also divided into the zones described above, but the ocean itself is separated horizontally by distance from the shore. Nearest to the shore lies the intertidalzone, the region between the high and low tidal marks. This hallmark of the intertidal is changed, where water is in constant motions from ocean waves, tides, and currents. The land is sometimes underwater and sometimes is exposed. The neriticzone is from low tide mark and slopes gradually down to the edge of the seaward side of the continental shelf. Some sunlight penetrates the seabed here. The oceaniczone is the entire rest of the ocean from the bottom edge of the neritic zone, where sunlight does not reach the bottom.

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    What is the significance of the ocean? ›

    Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. They also serve as the foundation for much of the world's economy, supporting sectors from tourism to fisheries to international shipping.

    What is the significance of ocean in geography? ›

    The oceans are an essential part of Earth's water cycle. Since they cover so much of the planet, most evaporation comes from the ocean and most precipitation falls on the oceans. The oceans are also home to an enormous amount of life. That is, they have tremendous biodiversity.

    What percent of water is in the oceans Why is this important to know your answer? ›

    The oceans are, by far, the largest storehouse of water on earth — over 96% of all of Earth's water exists in the oceans.

    Why is the ocean important paragraph? ›

    Climate regulation: Covering 70 percent of the Earth's surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns. Transportation: Seventy-six percent of all U.S. trade involves some form of marine transportation.

    What are 3 important facts about the ocean? ›

    • The ocean covers 71% of the Earth's surface. ...
    • 37 out of 50 critical minerals can be found in the ocean! ...
    • The ocean influences and regulates Earth's climate, acting like the planet's 'heart. ...
    • There is enough salt in the ocean to cover the whole surface of the Earth.
    Jun 24, 2022

    What are the 7 ocean names? ›

    The Seven Seas include the Arctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific, Indian, and Southern oceans.

    What is an ocean answer? ›

    The ocean is a huge body of saltwater that covers about 71 percent of Earth's surface. The planet has one global ocean, though oceanographers and the countries of the world have traditionally divided it into four distinct regions: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans.

    What is the most important thing to know about the ocean? ›

    The ocean covers 70 percent of Earth's surface. It contains about 1.35 billion cubic kilometers (324 million cubic miles) of water, which is about 97 percent of all the water on Earth. The ocean makes all life on Earth possible, and makes the planet appear blue when viewed from space.

    How much water (%) is in the ocean? ›

    About 97 percent of Earth's water is in the ocean.

    It's hard to imagine, but about 97 percent of the Earth's water can be found in our ocean. Of the tiny percentage that's not in the ocean, about two percent is frozen up in glaciers and ice caps. Less than one percent of all the water on Earth is fresh.

    Does over 97% of water on Earth occur in our oceans? ›

    Over 97 percent of the earth's water is found in the oceans as salt water. Two percent of the earth's water is stored as fresh water in glaciers, ice caps, and snowy mountain ranges. That leaves only one percent of the earth's water available to us for our daily water supply needs.

    Why is water percentage important? ›

    The health benefits of water

    Your body consists of up to 60 percent water. Water is essential for health—it helps to regulate temperature, hydrate skin, and lubricate joints. And there's more—it helps maintain your blood pressure, flush body waste, and deliver oxygen throughout the body, among many other benefits.

    Is the ocean the most important thing in life? ›

    Covering 72 percent of the Earth and supplying half its oxygen, the ocean is our planet's life support system.

    How does the ocean affect human life? ›

    The ocean allows humans to trade, and gives many of us jobs in fisheries, trade, shipping, tourism and travel. The ocean also is a source of minerals, energy resources, and medicines.

    What is the ocean essay? ›

    The oceans cover 70 percent of the earth and are the world's largest ecosystem, oceans are among the most valuable natural resources. They protect and balance the weather, clean the air, help feed us, account for more than 97 percent of the water, and are home to 80 percent of the living organisms.

    What is special about ocean water? ›

    The ocean covers more than 70 percent of the earth's surface. About 94 percent of the earth's wildlife is found in the ocean. More than 70 percent of the earth's oxygen is produced by the ocean. Five percent of the land belonging to the United States is surrounded by the ocean.

    What are 3 benefits of the ocean? ›

    The ocean provides food, jobs and livelihoods

    It provides nutrition, medicines, and mineral and renewable energy resources. It supports jobs in fishing, seafood, leisure and science. Our ocean is the original “super-highway,” that links economies together and transports goods and people all around the globe.

    What are the 5 oceans important points? ›

    What are the 5 oceans? The 5 ocean names are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Arctic Ocean and the Southern Ocean. Today we have Five Bodies Of Water and Our One World Ocean or Five oceans AKA Ocean 5, and two seas covering over 71 percent of the earths surface and over 97 percent of the earth's water.

    What is the most important part of the ocean? ›

    The Coral Triangle in Southeast Asia is the most diverse place in the ocean. And it could hold the secrets to protecting huge swathes of the planet's underwater habitats.

    What are the 4 characteristics of the ocean? ›

    Salinity, density, heat capacity and temperature are the characteristics of oceans.

    Why is it better to live by the ocean? ›

    The beach is commonly associated with relaxation, including ocean tides, sea breezes, and warm sand, which all help to remove the stress of everyday life. While a vacation at the beach can temporarily reduce your stress levels, people who live near the ocean can experience this same benefit on a daily basis.

    Are all 7 oceans connected? ›

    Did you know that all ocean basins and seas are actually part of one huge body of water, connected throughout the world? This is called the Global Ocean and it is home to more than 230,000 marine creatures (and more to be discovered as most of it hasn't even been explored yet!).

    Are there 5 or 7 oceans? ›

    While there is only one global ocean, the vast body of water that covers 71 percent of the Earth is geographically divided into distinct named regions. The boundaries between these regions have evolved over time for a variety of historical, cultural, geographical, and scientific reasons.

    Is ocean a girls name? ›

    Ocean is a Greek baby name meaning “sea”. This gender-neutral baby name is commonly used in the English language and comes from the Ancient Greek name Oceanus.

    What is ocean in your own words? ›

    What is an ocean? An ocean is a continuous body of salt water that is contained in an enormous basin on Earth's surface. The major oceans and their marginal seas cover nearly 71 percent of Earth's surface, with an average depth of 3,688 metres (12,100 feet).

    What is the ocean also known as? ›

    The ocean (also known as the sea or the world ocean) is a body of salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the Earth and contains 97% of Earth's water.

    What are ocean currents Class 7? ›

    Ocean currents are channels of water moving in a particular direction in the oceans. The ocean currents are of two types - the warm currents and the cold currents. The warm currents flow from the equatorial region towards the poles. The cold currents flow from the poles to towards the equatorial regions.

    What is the ocean made of? ›

    seawater, water that makes up the oceans and seas, covering more than 70 percent of Earth's surface. Seawater is a complex mixture of 96.5 percent water, 2.5 percent salts, and smaller amounts of other substances, including dissolved inorganic and organic materials, particulates, and a few atmospheric gases.

    What's the deepest part of the ocean? ›

    What is difference between sea and ocean? ›

    In terms of geography, seas are smaller than oceans and are usually located where the land and ocean meet. Typically, seas are partially enclosed by land. Seas are found on the margins of the ocean and are partially enclosed by land.

    Which ocean is not salt water? ›

    The least saline ocean, by comparison, is the Arctic Ocean, which has a typical salinity of 28–30 g/kg owing to the low rate of evaporation and meltwater from the ice-caps.

    Can you drink ocean water if boiled? ›

    Boiling seawater does not make it safe to drink because it doesn't remove the salt. Freshwater on the other hand - say from a river - can be boiled to make it safe enough to drink.

    What year will the Earth be covered in water? ›

    The simple answer is no. The whole world will never be underwater. But our coastlines would be very different. If all the ice covering Antarctica , Greenland, and in mountain glaciers around the world were to melt, sea level would rise about 70 meters (230 feet).

    Is the Earth 95% water? ›

    Water covers about 71% of the earth's surface. 97% of the earth's water is found in the oceans (too salty for drinking, growing crops, and most industrial uses except cooling). 3% of the earth's water is fresh.

    What percent of Earth is drinkable water? ›

    Only about three percent of Earth's water is freshwater. Of that, only about 1.2 percent can be used as drinking water; the rest is locked up in glaciers, ice caps, and permafrost, or buried deep in the ground.

    Are we really 70 percent water? ›

    In adult men, about 60% of their bodies are water. However, fat tissue does not have as much water as lean tissue. In adult women, fat makes up more of the body than men, so they have about 55% of their bodies made of water.

    What percentage of water is good? ›

    Water as percentage of body weight in adults
    AdultsAges 12 to 18Ages 19 to 50
    Maleaverage: 59 range: 52%–66%average: 59% range: 43%–73%
    Femaleaverage: 56% range: 49%–63%average: 50% range: 41%–60%
    Jul 10, 2019

    What is 70% of water used for? ›

    On average, agriculture accounts for 70 percent of global freshwater withdrawals. In the last 30 years, food production has increased by more than 100 percent.

    What happens if the ocean dies? ›

    Plankton are the base of the marine food web, without them all larger organisms will probably die. No plankton=no fish= no food for millions of people. Without ocean life millions (if not billions) of people will start to starve.

    What does the ocean teach us in life? ›

    The ocean provides us many things — comfort, serenity, leisure, and a sense of calm. But it can teach us things, too. It can teach us how to ride out the wave. It can teach us how to tread water and how to give ourselves a break and float on our backs.

    How big is the ocean summary? ›

    Oceans cover an area of 139 million miles2 or 361 million km2, and contain a volume of about 1.37 billion km3 of water. All of this water is not distributed equally over the Earth; 61% of the Northern Hemisphere is covered by oceans, while in the Southern Hemisphere the oceans cover 81% of the surface area (Figure 1.1.

    What does the ocean do for us spiritually? ›

    – Ocean Meditation and the 'Blue Mind'

    Nichols states that our brains are hardwired to react positively to water and that being near it can calm and connect us, increase innovation and insight, and heal us on a deep level. The ocean gently lures and seduces us into a mildly meditative state of calm focus and awareness.

    What is the spiritual meaning of ocean waves? ›

    In the spiritual realm, the waves represent the change in flow we face throughout life. In other words, it represents the ups and downs of life and how we overcome it.

    What is the spirituality of the ocean? ›

    There are many kinds of ocean spirituality. They include the many moods and emotions that people feel when in the presence of an ocean, either because they are travelling in it, seeing it from the shore, swimming in it, surfing its waves, or making a living from it.

    What does the Bible say about life in the ocean? ›

    There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number – living things both large and small” (Psalm 104:25). It is easy to focus on the “large” aspect of this verse.

    What is the healing power of the ocean? ›

    As salt is naturally antibacterial, as soon as any cuts or skin irritation touch the water, it immediately helps to heal them. Salt water is highly detoxifying and helps remove impurities from your body and skin.

    What emotion does the ocean give? ›

    Being near the ocean has mental health benefits as well as physical ones. Scientific research from Richard Shuster shows that just being near the colour blue has led to “an overwhelming amount of people to be associated with feelings of calm and peace”.

    How can I relate my life to the ocean? ›

    7 Life Lessons From the Ocean
    1. Be free. Move like racing waves across the surface of life. ...
    2. Be bold. Don't be afraid to make a splash when facing new shores.
    3. Be yielding. Water can crash, but it can also give. ...
    4. Be purposeful. ...
    5. Be peaceful. ...
    6. Be beautiful. ...
    7. Be harmonious.

    What is a good ocean quote? ›

    "The great sea makes one a great skeptic." "The sea is as near as we come to another world." "He that will learn to pray, let him go to sea." "To me, the sea is a continual miracle; the fishes that swim, the rocks, the motion of the waves, the ships with men in them.

    How does the ocean inspire you? ›

    Thinking about and dreaming of the ocean brings us both joy and calmness, and truly soothes the soul. In times of stress, we turn to the ocean for it's for words of wisdom, spoken through inspiring quotes and sayings. These ocean and sea quotes remind us of our strength and resilience, and our love and vulnerabilities.

    What is the meaning of ocean soul? ›

    "I'm a Wild Ocean Soul, meaning that I have a bit of wanderlust and free spirit, an obsession with the ocean and the creatures in it and a deep desire to do good for people and planet.

    Do ocean waves get their energy? ›

    Waves transmit energy, not water, and are commonly caused by the wind as it blows across the ocean, lakes, and rivers. Waves caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and the sun are called tides. The ebb and flow of waves and tides are the life force of our world ocean.

    What does ocean symbolize in dreams? ›

    Because of its size and depth, the ocean is often used to symbolize human emotions. In dreams, the ocean reflects your emotional state because of its ever-changing nature. Also, it might symbolize being full of deep emotions. If you experience an ocean dream, you are likely feeling emotionally overwhelmed.

    What is the ocean of the god? ›

    'The Ocean of God'conveys the proposition that the future of religions, if they will not want to contribute to the destruction of humanity, will become transreligious.

    What is ocean empathy? ›

    The Decade of Ocean Empathy is inspired by the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development and brings human elements like empathy, communication, and creative problem-solving into marine science and conservation to generate ocean connection and stewardship.

    What is the theology of the ocean? ›

    Blue theology is an invitation to see the ocean how God sees it. To care for the sea as God would have us do. The ocean reflects God's presence, and as Christians, we are called to worship our Creator by honoring our connection to the sea.


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