Covering over 70 percent of Earth, oceans are one of the most essential components of our planet. The United Nations (UN) designated World Oceans Day on June 8 to remind all of us how the massive water bodies play a crucial role in maintaining the ecosystem of the planet. The objective of World Oceans Day, according to the UN, is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean.
The occasion also hopes to develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world’s population on a project for the sustainable management of the world’s oceans.
This year the event will once again take place virtually considering the continuing effects of 2020 Covid pandemic world over. The theme for this year is The Ocean: Life and Livelihoods.
As we celebrate the ever-giving oceans of our planet let us take a look at some of the facts that make it fascinating:
- Besides being a sight to behold, the oceans also breathe life into the planet as they produce at least 50 percent of the earth’s oxygen.
- The oceans hold about 321 million cubic miles or 1.34 billion cubic kilometers of water, which is roughly 97 percent of Earth’s water supply. This also includes the seawater weight which is about 3.5 percent dissolved salt and other essential minerals like chlorine, magnesium, and calcium.
- The oceans absorb the sun’s heat, and 30% of carbon dioxide is produced by humans. As they absorb the heat, the oceans transfer it to the atmosphere and distribute it around the world. This pattern of distribution of heat affects global weather patterns and helps regulate temperatures on land. Oceans act as a heater in the winter and an air conditioner in the summer, the natural air conditioner.
- More than 80 percent of the ocean is unmapped and unexplored, which makes it an interesting area of our planet. It is also intriguing for some marine enthusiasts as to how many species there are yet to be discovered. The ocean is also the home to some of the world’s oldest living organisms like Jellyfish, horseshoe crabs and more.
- Oceans have not been immune to climate change and global warming. The year 2020 marked the oceans’ hottest year on record, and warmer waters have created multiple consequences, from changing colors, to endangered marine organisms like corals. Rising sea levels, more frequent powerful storms, plastic pollution and much more has threatened the health of oceans.