The ocean covers an area of approximately 360 million km2—equivalent to about 50% of the Earth’s surface. With an average depth of 3800m and a maximum depth of 10,924m, it contains an estimated 230,000 different species creating one of the most rich biodiversity environments known. The ocean teems with life ranging from the blue whale—the biggest animal on Earth—to tiny microbes. Phytoplankton supply much of our oxygen through the process of photosynthesis and the ocean also acts as a giant carbon sink sequestering CO2.
Along wth the waves, tides, and surface currents, the ocean also has a constantly moving system of deep circulation that is driven by temperature and salinity. It’s known as the global ocean conveyor belt, or thermohaline current. It starts in the polar region near Norway where the cold dense water flows along the ocean bottom all the way from the northern hemisphere to the Southern Ocean, eventually merging with water from the Antarctica that is swept into the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Eventually it all mixes with the warmer waters before finding its way back to the Atlantic. It can take 1,000 years to complete this cycle.
Yet, this complex and rich ecosystem that traverses the entire globe is treated like a rubbish bin by humanity. With a history of nuclear testing, pollution streaming in from agriculture and other industries, mining, fishing and trawling, it’s little wonder that life on Earth as we know it will end when this vast ecosystem finally buckles under the pressure from human activity.
WHAT ARE OCEAN DEAD ZONES?
There are many physical, chemical, and biological factors that combine to create ocean dead zones, but nutrient pollution from agriculture and industry flowing into the ocean is the primary cause, and is directly impacting the future of our entire planet.
NEW STUDY FINDS THAT FISH CAN RECOGNISE HUMAN FACES
Fish can be trained to recognise human faces up to an incredibly high 81% accuracy rate despite the fact that they lack a neocortex, which is known to be involved in higher sensory perception functions.
HOW PLASTIC IS KILLING THE OCEAN, MARINE LIFE AND EVENTUALLY US
Plastic is absolutely everywhere. It’s one of the most pervasive problems that is rapidly emerging as global environmental disaster.
The Environmental Impact of Fishing
If you’ve ever doubted the primacy of the ocean in shaping and supporting the life on Earth, then read this article