Oceans: Lifeline of our planet

They also absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans. Let’s read how importance are oceans and the need to protect them

By   |  Published: 9th Jun 2021  8:03 pm

Oceans cover more than 70% of the planet, produce at least 50% of the world’s oxygen, are home to most of the Earth’s biodiversity and are the main source of protein for more than a billion people. They also absorb about 30% of carbon dioxide produced by humans. Let’s read how importance are oceans and the need to protect them…

Importance:

Source of oxygen: Phytoplankton – tiny plant-like organisms that live in the sea – are responsible for at least 50% of the oxygen on Earth. Just like land-based plants, they contain chlorophyll to capture sunlight and use photosynthesis to convert it into the energy they need, producing oxygen as a byproduct. 

It helps regulate the climate: The Ocean absorbs huge amounts of heat from the sun. “More than 90% of the warming that has happened on Earth over the past 50 years has occurred in the ocean,” according to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Source of food: Fish is on the menu for billions of people around the world every day. It accounts for almost 16% of all animal protein consumed globally. A range of algae and sea plants are also commonly used in cooking.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization lists sodium, calcium, magnesium, and iodine among some of the important nutrients in seaweed. The oceans could form an important part of a more sustainable approach to feeding the planet’s growing human population.

Ocean biodiversity is incredible: It’s not just a source of food. The ocean is also home to an abundance of life. While estimates on the number of species that live in the sea exist, no one knows with absolute certainty what that number is.

According to the US National Library of Medicine’s National Institutes of Health, “91% of species in the ocean still await description.” Oceans cover around 70% of the planet’s surface and are up to 11,000 metres deep. 

Ocean conservation

Plastic-free alternatives:  An estimated 17.6 billion pounds of plastic leaks into the marine environment from land-based sources every year. We must urge companies to provide consumers with plastic-free alternatives and say no to single use plastics such as straws, plastic cutlery, coffee cups.

Reduce carbon footprint: Carbon dioxide, a known greenhouse gas, is making our oceans more acidic. This is contributing to the loss of corals on a global scale as their calcium skeletons are weakened by the increasing acidity of the water .You can reduce your carbon footprint by adopting some of these simple measures —-

• Ride a bike, walk or use public transportation rather than driving a car.

• Turn off the lights when you leave a room.


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