Oceans


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What is an ocean


An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. No one knows for sure why the oceans are blue. Many people have their ideas,but scientists think that the sun has something to do with the color of the ocean. Because the sun reflects on the oceans.The oceans are salty because of large amounts of salt in the water. Salt is a mineral found in rocks and soil. The ocean carries salt to rivers and rivers carry it to seas. For over hundreds of years this cycle has been going on. Now salt is in a lot of bodies of water. About a cup of salt is in each gallon.The deepest places in the ocean are in the Pacific around the Mariana Islands. The water there gets to be 36,000 ft deep. That is over 7miles deep, and one mile higher than Mt. Everest!


Interesting Facts about the Ocean.


The oceans occupy nearly 71% of our planets surface.

More than 97% of all our planets water is combined in the ocean.

The top ten feet of the ocean hold as much heat as our entire atmosphere.

More than 90% of this habitat exists in the deep ocean sea know as the abyss.

The worlds oceans contain nearly 20 million tons of gold.

Fish supply the greatest percentage of the worlds protein consumed by humans.

There are 328,000,000 cubic miles of sea water on earth, covering approximately 71 percent of earths surface.

By volume the ocean makes up 99 percent of the plane's living space- the largest space in our universe know to be inhabited by living organisms.

Earths ocean is made up off more than 20 seas and four oceans: Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Pacific the oldest and the largest.

At 39 degrees Fahrenheit, the temperature of almost all the deep ocean is only a few degrees above freezing. The Pacific ocean is about 64 million square miles.

The Atlantic Ocean is the busiest. Many ships cross the Atlantic carrying cargo, between the Americans, Africa, and Europe. It is 32 million square miles.

The Indian Ocean is located in an area bordered by the continents of Asia, Africa, Australia. It is 28 million square miles.

The Arctic Ocean is the smallest and coldest. It is 5million square miles.

The average temperature of all the is about 39 degrees Fahrenheit. (3.8 Degrees Celsius.)

The average depth of all the oceans is about 2.3 miles.

There are mountains, volcanoes, and deep trenches in the ocean.

Oceans are always moving.

Currents flow like rivers, carrying warm water from the tropics, and cold water from the north and south poles.

Tides change twice a day, all over the world, as the oceans rise and fall along the shoreline. Scientists think this is caused by the pull of the sun and the moon on our earth.

Coral reefs are vast, rocky areas located in shallow, tropical waters. They are like the tropical rain forest of the ocean! The greatest variety of plant and animal life in the ocean live there. Coral reefs are formed from the bodies of small sea creature called polyps.


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The Pacific ocean is located between the continents North America, South America, Asia, Antarctica and Australia. The Pacific Ocean is largest of the the four, it covers approximately one-third of the surface of the earth, more surface area than all the continents combined. It is commonly divided at the Equator into the North Pacific and the South Pacific. The southern portion is dotted with thousands of small volcanic islands and corral atolls. The western rim is lined with large lines of volcanic islands. The tallest mountain in the world is found in the Pacific ocean: Mauna Kea of the Hawaiian islands.


Atlantic Ocean


The Atlantic ocean is the second largest ocean is the Atlantic ocean. Located between the continents North and South America, Europe, Africa and Antarctica. It is also the youngest of the four oceans and probably did not exist 100 million years ago. It covers about 20% of the Earths surface which as an area of 82,362,000 square km. It has an average depth of 3,926 m. The deepest spot is Puerto Rico Trench which is 8,381 m. The Atlantic is separated from the Arctic Ocean by a ridge that runs between Greenland and Scotland. It is separated by the by the Drake passage which runs between South America and Antarctica. The Atlantic ocean is the busiest shipping ocean. The Atlantic ocean is the major artery between the Western and Eastern hemispheres.



Arctic Ocean


The Arctic ocean is the smallest of the four oceans. It lies almost entirely above the Acrtic circle. Nearly surrounded by land, its only outlets are the Bering Strait, between Alaska and Russia, Davis strait between Greenland and Canada, and Denmark strait and the Norwegian sea between Greenland and Europe. The Arctic ocean is divided into two basins, the Eurasian basin and the North American basin by the Lomonosov Ridge. The central part of the ocean is permanently covered in about 10 feet of ice. Pressure ridges in the ice can sometimes reach three times that height. In the summer months, the icepack is surround by water and free- floating. During the winter, the icepack expands to nearly twice its summer area.


Indian Ocean


The Indian Ocean is the third largest ocean. It is surrounded by Southern Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Malay Peninsula the Sunda Islands, Australia, Antarctica. The 20 degrees E meridian divides it from the Atlantic and and the 147 E meridian divides it from the Pacific below Australia. The Continental Shelves of the Indian Ocean are compared to those of the other oceans. The Indian Ocean has an area of 73,556,000 sq km. At its widest point, between Southern Africa and Australia , it is nearly 10,000 km wide. The Indian Ocean is divided into three major sections by the Mid Oceanic Ridge which runs from Asia to Antarctica in an upside down Y shape.The sections are, the African the Antarctic and the Australasian. The Mid-Oceanic Ridge rises to an average of 3,000 m with some of its peaks rising to form islands. Many deep sea basins are enclosed by the Mid-Oceanic Ridge. The deepest among these is the Java Trench which reaches a depth of 7,450 m.


Ocean Pollution


Over 80% of marine pollution comes from land-based activities. From plastic bags to pesticides- most of the waste we produce eventually reaches the oceans, either through deliberate dumping or from run-off through drains and rivers. This includes oil, fertilizers, solid garbage, sewage, toxic wastes. Solid garbage makes its ways to oceans. Plastic bags, balloons, glass bottles, shoes packaging material if they are not disposed of correctly, almost everything that we throw away can reach the sea. Plastic garbage which decomposes very slowly, is often mistaken for food by marine animals. High concentrations of plastic material, particularly plastic bags, have been found blocking the breathing passages and stomachs of many marine species, including whales, dolphins, seals, puffins, and turtles. Plastic six-pack rings can also chock marine animals. The plastic can also come back up to the shore, where it can pollute beaches and coastal habitats. Oil spills cause big problems to the marine environment- but in fact are only responsible for around 12% of the oil entering the seas each year. According to a study by the US National Research Council, 36% percent comes down drains and rivers as waist and runoff from cities and industry. Fertilizer runoff from farms and lawns is a big problem for coastal areas. The extreme nutrients cause eutrophication has created enormous dead zones in several parts of the world, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Baltic Sea.




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Oceans Life


Most scientist think that ocean life began 3 billion years ago. Today the ocean contains an amazing array of life at every depth. Over 1 million known species of plants and animals live there. And scientists say that there may be as many as 9 million species we haven't discovered yet. Marine animals come in all kinds of different shapes, sizes and colors; and they live in all kinds of different environments within the ocean. The blue whale, the largest animal in the world, lives in the open ocean, along with millions of tiny drifting organisms called plankton. Zoo plankton are the smallest animals in the sea and a vital link in marine life, yet scientist know next to nothing about them. The number of of species listed as endangered from from marine life families such as whales, dolphins, manatees, and dugongs, salmon, seabirds, sea turtles, and sharks.





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