Did you know the ocean produces more oxygen than the entire Amazon?
If that wasn’t enough, the ocean is indispensable for its role in providing food and habitat to many species. Additionally, the water body also has a significant impact on regulating the climate.
On that note, let us explore the primary reasons behind how the ocean helps sustain us.
Reason 1: A primary source of oxygen
While the rainforests of Amazon produce 28% of the oxygen on the planet, oceans contribute nearly 70% of it, more specifically Posidonia, the underwater sea plant that covers two-thirds of the Earth’s surface.
Interestingly, it is said that out of every ten breaths that we take, the ocean is responsible for seven of them. The waterbody abounds in phytoplankton, the tiny organisms that absorb carbon dioxide and are a pro at releasing oxygen, making it a rich source.
Reason 2: Effective in regulating the Earth’s climate
The ocean significantly impacts the climate by storing solar radiation and distributing heat and moisture across the globe. Notably, the oceans make up the world’s largest store of carbon, circulating nearly 83% of the world’s carbon cycle through marine water.
Oceans’ physical temperature help control the level of carbon dioxide released or absorbed into the water. Accordingly, oceans mediate temperature to drive weather, determining rainfall, floods, and droughts.
Reason 3: Serve as a habitat for several creatures
As per experts, the ocean harbors over 300,000 species, each playing a crucial role in the trophic chain of the ecosystem. However, experts believe they haven’t discovered half of the species who live underwater yet, while 91% of them are still awaiting description.
Unfortunately, due to the rapid climate change, the ocean and its habitat are warming up faster than anticipated, decreasing its pH and oxygen content. While many marine species have been able to adjust to the change, not many can survive the thermal stress. Studies indicate that the rising ocean temperature is rapidly destroying the life and habitat of underwater creatures.
Reason 4: An important food source
The ocean is a giant food reserve and a rich source of fish, seafood, algae, dulse, and sea grape, among others. In fact, oceans are a major source of animal protein as fishes account for nearly 16% of animal protein consumed globally.
Experts think that if oceans are adequately maintained, they could become a crucial part of a sustainable approach to feeding the Earth’s growing population.
Bonus: Creates job
The ocean economy plays a crucial role in the developing countries serving as a large section of 3 billion people whose livelihood depends on the sea. The most significant share of jobs that rely on oceans includes fisheries and tourism.
With at least 60% of the Earth’s population living on the coasts, it is safe to say that those underwater and others heavily depend on the oceans. Hence all these factors and more make oceans so essential for us and, at the same time, urge us to be mindful of them.