What has no beginning, end or middle and touches every continent?
If you answered ‘ocean’, you are right.
In fact, the ocean covers more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface and is responsible for producing more than half our oxygen.
Ocean currents have a major influence on weather patterns.
This means even if you haven’t seen it (nearly 40 per cent of the American population haven’t) it affects your life.
Today marks the start of Sea Week, a national initiative designed to educate people about the sea and help them become ‘ocean literate’.
Ocean literacy is a term created by scientists and educators to describe having an understanding of the ocean’s influence on us and our influence on it.
There are seven principals of ocean literacy aimed at making people informed enough to make responsible decisions regarding the ocean and it resources.
OCEAN LITERACY PRINCIPLES
- Ocean Literacy Principle #1: The Earth has one big ocean with many features.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #2: The ocean and life in the ocean shape the features of Earth.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #3: The ocean is a major influence on weather and climate.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #4: The ocean made the Earth habitable.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #5: The ocean supports a great diversity of life and ecosystems.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #6: The ocean and humans are inextricably interconnected.
- Ocean Literacy Principle #7: The ocean is largely unexplored.
SEA WEEK STATS
To celebrate Sea Week, I’ve collected some interesting facts about the sea.
During photosynthesis, phytoplankton remove carbon dioxide from sea water and release oxygen. The carbon becomes part of their bodies.
How inappropriate to call this planet Earth when it is quite clearly Ocean.
Arthur C. Clarke
FOR EVERY SPECIES OF MARINE LIFE WE KNOW ABOUT, AT LEAST ANOTHER THREE ARE YET TO BE DISCOVERED
Some scientists think there could be millions of marine life forms yet to be discovered.
Earlier this year an international team of scientists discovered some really unusual species along the eastern edge of Australian continental plate.
Some of the creatures included a faceless fish, giant sea spiders and blobby sea pigs.
More than one-third of the invertebrates and some of the fish found during the expedition are completely new to science.
IT’S A LONG WAY DOWN
THE BARRIER REEF
THE WORLD’S BIGGEST MUSEUM IN UNDER THE SEA
EARTH’S LAND SPACE MAY BE COMPARATIVELY SMALL BUT WHAT WE DO ON IT SURE PACKS A PUNCH
The same expedition off the Australian coast that uncovered the faceless fish earlier this year also found a lot of rubbish.
The garbage we have been dumping into the sea for the past 200 years has found its way into the ocean abyss that drops to four km.
According to chief scientist on the project Dr. Tim O’Hara, rubbish was found in all of about 50 different small net tows on the bottom of the ocean.
The trash included old bottles, wire, ropes and burnt coal residue.
Everything we do on land affects things we do at sea and that filters down to the deep sea and into the abyss.
Dr. Tim O’Hara
ONE WAY OR ANOTHER, WE ALL NEED THE OCEAN
Have a gleeful week, Tamuria.