The Importance of Our Oceans

The oceans cover 70% of Earth’s surface, and without them, there would be no life at all. The oceans provide us with things as basic as oxygen, and as advanced as cancer treatments.

RESOURCES

One of the most essential resources on Earth is oxygen. About half of our oxygen comes from the oceans. It is produced by millions of tiny plant organisms that live there.

The oceans also provide a huge amount of food for humans. Seafood represents about 16% of the protein that humans eat. With our global population rising by about 83 million people each year, food that we can get from the oceans will become more and more essential if we want to continue with our current lifestyle.

We can also get ingredients for medicines from the oceans. Scientists have discovered chemicals in marine organisms that can be used to treat serious illnesses. For example, one species of Caribbean sea sponge produces compounds that can be used in AIDS treatment, cancer treatment and anti-viral medications.

ENVIRONMENT

The oceans help to regulate our environment. The Earth receives a huge amount of heat from the sun. The oceans absorb some of this heat and ocean currents move it around the planet. This means that fewer places have extreme temperatures, so more places are habitable. Climate regulation is essential to life on Earth.

As well as this, the oceans are a vital part of the water cycle. The water cycle is a natural system which allows rain to form and fall. Large amounts of water evaporate from the surface of the ocean and collect in the sky. This forms clouds and falls to Earth as rain. Rain is essential for plants to grow and animals to drink.

BIODIVERSITY

There is more life in the oceans than anywhere else on Earth.

Biodiversity is about how many different species there are in an environment. Coral reefs in the oceans are one of the most biodiverse environments on the planet. They may have more different species than the rainforest.

Around 80% of the oceans are as yet unexplored. This is exciting as it is likely that there are more new, undiscovered species that could provide resources like medicines.

CONCLUSION

The oceans are an incredible part of our planet, and without them we would not be able to survive. This is why it is so essential to protect them. For example, we can reduce plastic waste to help protect the oceans from pollution. We can also support sustainable fishing practices to help maintain biodiversity.

JULIET MARTIN

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