Oceans in the World

Oceans

An ocean is a body of saline water that composes much of a planet’s hydrosphere. Oceans are the lifeblood of planet Earth and humankind. They flow over nearly three-quarters of our planet, and hold 97% of the planet’s water. They produce more than half of the oxygen in the atmosphere, and absorb the most carbon from it. The air that you breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the products that keep you warm, safe, informed, and entertained are all can come from or be transported by the ocean.

Ocean water is processed to extract commercially valuable minerals such as salt, bromine, and magnesium. Nearly 60 valuable chemical elements have been found dissolved in ocean water, most are in such dilute concentrations that commercial extraction is not profitable. In  few arid regions of the world, such as Ascension Island, Kuwait, and Israel, ocean water is desalinated to produce freshwater.
The oceans are interesting and mysterious. There are thousands of different types of animals and plants that live in the oceans. If people all work together they can help save a lot of marine life.

There are five oceans in world. These oceans separate the seven continents from each other.

Following are five oceans:

Pacific Ocean :

Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean. It separates the Americans from Asia and Australia.

The Pacific Ocean consists of many groups of islands such as Polynesia, Micronesia etc. the world’s deepest trench called the Mariana trench is found in this ocean.

Some more facts:

 

Area:  168,723,000 (km2), 46.6 (%)

Volume: 669,880,000 (km2), 50.1(%)

Average depth: 3,970m(m)

Coastal line: 135,663 (km)

The Equator divides this Ocean into the North Pacific Ocean and the South Pacific Ocean. 

Pacific means “peaceful”, coming from the Latin “pace” for peace and the Pacific Ocean got its name from the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 who called its waters “mar pacifico” which means peaceful sea.

Temperature

The temperatures of thIS Ocean depend on the location. The nearer to the Equator the warm the water tends to be. So some regions the water is up to 30degC/86F, while near to the poles the water temperature decreases to freezing point. The lowest temperature measured was -2degC.

Most of the islands in the world are found in this Ocean. There are actually more than 25,000 islands  and most of them are found south of the Equator in the Southern Pacific.Many beautiful groups of islands are found in this Oceans. These islands form an archipelago, like the Fiji Archepelago or the Hawaiian Archipelago. The largest countries consisting mainly of archipelagos or clusters of islands are located in this Ocean: These are Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines and New Zealand. Actually Indonesia is the largest archipelagic state in the world.

The oceans are interesting and mysterious. There are thousands of different types of animals and plants that live in the oceans. If people all work together they can help save a lot of marine life.

ThIis Ocean has the unique distinction of having the low salinity of the surface water. However, there are regional variations in the distribution of the surface salinity.

Atlantic Ocean

Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean. It is of S-shape. It separates the Americans from Europe and Africa. The mid-Atlantic ridge is located in the middle of this ocean. The North Atlantic Ocean has the busiest ocean trade route.

The word ’Atlantic’ originates from the Greek mythology meaning ‘Sea of Atlas’. Atlas was the titan who had to stand on the edge of the earth and carry the heavens on his shoulders as punishment from Zeus as Atlas had fought against the Olympian gods for the control of the heavens.

The Equator divides this Ocean into the North Atlantic Ocean and the South Atlantic Ocean and is located between Americas to the West of the Atlantic Ocean basin and the continents of Europe and Africa to the East.

Temperature

The temperatures of this Ocean depend on the location and on the ocean’s currents. The nearer to the Equator the warm the water tends to be. The higher temperature of 28 degrees Celsius/82 degrees Fahrenheit is reached in coastal regions near the equator and the minimum temperatures are around -2 degrees Celsius/28 degrees Fahrenheit in the Polar Regions.

Some more facts:

Area:  85,133,000(km2), 23.5(%)

Volume: 310,410,900(km2), 23.3(%)

Average depth: 3,646(m)

Coastal line: 111,866(km)

Resources

Natural resources in the Atlantic include petroleum and gas fields, fish, marine mammals (seals and whales), sand and gravel aggregates, placer deposits, polymetallic nodules, and precious stones.

It was estimated that 60 % of all fish caught came from this Ocean. The oceans most benefit the nations which its waters directly touch. It not only benefits in terms of fishing, oil and gas but also in products like sand for the building industry.

Energy supplies to countries like china, USA, New Zealand and Peru rely directly on the Pacific Ocean for offshore oil and gas reserves.

Islands

Some well-known islands in this Oceans are, The Bahamas, Canary Islands (Spain), Azores (Portugal), Cap Verde Islands, Greenland and many more.

Some major seaports of the Atlantic Ocean are:
  • Rotterdam (Netherlands), the biggest container port in Europe.
  • Hamburg (Germany)
  • New York (USA)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Colon (Panama)

Indian Ocean

The Indian Ocean  is the third largest ocean. It separates Asia from Africa and Australia. In the southern hemisphere, this ocean is more prominent. To the north of the equator, it is divided into two parts- the Arabian Sea and the Bay of Bengal. It plays a vital role in the formation of monsoon winds.

The name originates from the location around the Indian peninsula. The Indian Ocean is actually the youngest of the major oceans. Indian Ocean is known as ‘Ratnakara’ in the ancient Sanskrit literature. Ratnakara means ‘the maker (creator) of jewels’.

Some more facts:

 

Area:  70,560,000(km2), 19.5(%)

Volume: 264,000,000(km2), 19.8(%)

Average depth: 3,741(m)

Coastal line: 66,526(km)

Temperature

The temperatures of this Ocean depend on the location and on the ocean’s currents. The nearer to the Equator the warm the water tends to be. The temperature of 28 degrees Celsius/82 degrees Fahrenheit or higher is reached in coastal regions near the equator.

On average this Ocean has a minimum temperature of around 22 degrees Celsius. However in the southern regions, nearer to the Polar Regions the temperatures drop drastically below 40 degrees latitude south.

The Northern Indian Ocean also is the most important transport route for oil. As it connects the oil-rich countries of the Middle East Each with Asia. Every day tankers are carrying a cargo of 17 million barrels of crude oil from the Persian Gulf on its waters. 40% of the world’s offshore oil production comes from this Ocean. mainly from oilfields of Indonesia and the Persian Gulf.

Some big coastal cities situated along the Indian Ocean are:

  • Mumbai (India)
  • Colombo (Sri Lanka)
  • Singapore (Singapore)
  • Perth (Australia)
  • Dar-es-Salaam (Tanzania)
  • Durban (South Africa)

This Ocean provides home to many endangered sea species such as turtles, seals and dugongs (also called sea cows).

Indian Ocean gets 20 cm wider every year.

This Ocean is the warmest ocean in the world. However, the warmth of the ocean resists the growth of phytoplankton, except for a few spots here.  And there, across the water body. Hence, life thriving in this Ocean is limited.

The largest container handling facility in this Ocean has been termed as Port Louis.
The Indian Ocean changes course twice a year—once in winter and once in summer.
Approximately 40% of the world’s oil production comes from the Indian Ocean.

The lowest point in this Ocean is Java Trench, with a depth of 7,258 m.

Southern oceans

The southern oceans lie entirely in the southern hemisphere, encircling the continent of Antarctica. The South Pacific Ocean, the South Atlantic Ocean and Th e southern India Ocean merge to form this ocean. It is also known as the ANTARCTIC Ocean

The Southern Ocean is also referred to as the Antarctic Ocean, South Polar Ocean or Austral Ocean. The Southern Ocean is the youngest ocean as it was formed only 30 million years ago when South America and Antarctica moved apart.

Some more facts:

 

Area:  21,960,000(km2), 6.1(%)

Volume: 71,800,000(km2), 5.4(%)

Average depth: 3,270(m)

Coastal line: 17,968(km)

 Icebergs will encountered in the Southern Ocean during any season, but during May to October there are also strong winds which make crossing the ocean even more dangerous. Big iceberg fragments (huge junks of ice) drift in the water. They can big several hundred meters high. Ice fragments are considered small if they are not thicker than 1m/3ft. Still even in summer ice-breaker ships often need to escort ships on their passage through the Antarctic waters.

 Temperature:

The sea temperatures of the Southern Ocean range from -2 degC C to 10 degrees Celsius/28F – 50F. The climatic conditions depend also on the seasons. Winter is long and lasts from April to October. Then the water temperature will in general be below 0 degrees Celsius/32 Fahrenheit.

More than 50,000 tourists experience the Southern Ocean every year.

More facts

The first known explorers who came in contact with the cold waters of the Southern Ocean were Bartolomeo Diaz. He circumnavigated the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa in 1487. And Ferdinand Magellan who explored the Tierra del Fuego in South America in 1520. Captain James Cook searched for land in the Southern Ocean but never sighted Antarctica; he landed in Botany Bay/Australia in 1770 instead. He, however, crossed the Antarctic Circle and reached as far as 71 degrees South latitude in 1773.

In 1819, for the first time land was sighted south of 60 degrees South latitude. Only in the 19th century Antarctica was discovered and explored during various expeditions. Sir Ernest Skelton’s expedition was the first attempt to cross Antarctica on land but they reach 88 degrees South latitude only. Roald Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole in 1911.

There are no indigenous people on Antarctica. On the coldest continent there are only research stations from various countries. But these researchers, scientists and explorers and their families work and live there only for a limited time.

There are only two settlements on Antarctica, where there are people living and working all year round. These settlements are small, with less than 100 people in winter. They are the Chilean research station ‘Villas Las Estella’s’ and the Argentinian research station ‘Esperanza Base’. The temperatures there are very cold, between 0 degrees Celsius and -10 degrees Celsius.

climate change is noticeable  there as in March 2015, the highest temperature recorded was 17 degC/62F.

Arctic Ocean

Arctic Ocean is the smallest and shallowest of all the oceans. It encircles the North Pole. This lies mostly inside the Arctic Circle and is almost completely surrounded by Eurasia and North America.

The name “Arctic” comes from the Greek word “Arktos,” meaning “Bear“.

Some more facts:

 

Area:  15,558,000(km2), 4.3(%)

Volume: 18,750,000(km2), 1.4(%)

Average depth: 1,205(m)

Coastal line: 45,389(km)

The large expanse of sea ice keeps the polar regions cool and affects the global climate. The polar sea ice is frozen seawater. while the icebergs are frozen freshwater that originates from molten glaciers on the lands surrounding the Arctic Ocean.

Many of  icebergs in the Arctic are formed from the freshwater around Ellesmere Island in Canada.

Because of this Ocean’s low evaporation, large freshwater inflow, and its limited connection to other oceans it has the lowest salinity of all oceans. Its salinity varies depending on the ice covers’ freezing and melting.

This  Ocean is almost completely covered by ice in the winter and remains partially covered in ice throughout the entire year. The first person to cross the Arctic Ocean by boat was Nansen in 1896. It wasn’t until 1969 that the first surface crossing of the Arctic Ocean was made, by dog sled.

This Ocean includes the bowhead whale, grey whale, narwhal and beluga whale. It has variety of marine life living like jellyfish, fish, seals and walruses. Many Large fish species are found in this ocean. .

Polar bears live and hunt on the ice of the Arctic Ocean.

When the ice of this Ocean melts it releases nutrients and organisms into the water which promotes the growth of algae. The algae feed zooplankton which serves as food for the sea life.

This oceans also includes seal species like bearded seal, ribbon seal, ringed seal, spotted seal, harp seal and hooded seal.

Note: Titanic sank because it ran into an iceberg that had broken away from a glacier from the arctic ocean.

Approx 25% of the undiscovered petroleum is believed to be located in this Ocean.

If the ice disappears, the polar bears living and hunting on the ice of the  Ocean will disappear. They rely on the ice to serve as a platform when they hunt. Without the ice platforms they will starve.

This Ocean is covered by an ice cap. The ice cap is decreasing in size due to global warming and pollution. If it continues to melt it is possible that eventually there will be no more ice in the  Ocean. This may happen by the year 2040.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: