Oceans have been home to diverse life forms since their earliest days, providing shelter and habitat for various ecosystems. Mangrove-rich forests in coastal areas provide shelter and a nursery for various organisms, including whales and microscopic organisms.
The Pacific Ocean, the largest ocean, covers about 30% of the Earth’s surface and has about 225,000 islands. The Atlantic Ocean, the second largest, covers over 20% of the Earth’s surface and is named after the number 8. The Indian Ocean, the third largest, covers about one-fourth of the Earth’s surface and is also known as Ratnasagar. Antarctica, the fourth largest, is known for its icebergs and over 400 lakes.
The Arctic Ocean, the smallest and shallowest of the five, is the North Polar Ocean and is the smallest and shallowest. In winter, the sea is completely covered with ice, and 10% of the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean. Micro-bacteria in the sea emit oxygen, which is crucial for life on Earth. However, plastic pollution in the sea prevents these bacteria from thriving, causing a decrease in oxygen levels.
Climate change and other factors are causing rapid changes in the nature of the seas, potentially causing widespread destruction and posing a significant threat to animals, birds, and humans.Pollution in the oceans is a matter of concern
Rising pollution in the oceans has become a significant concern, with billions of tons of plastic waste and heavy metals and saline pollution entering the Indian Ocean each year. The oceans are not only a symbol of life but also play a crucial role in the ecological balance. They contain about 70% of the earth’s surface and 70% of all water, making them a vast store of biodiversity.
World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8, every year, inspired by a 1987 report by Brundtland that the world’s oceans were not getting much attention. In 1992, Canada’s International Centre for Ocean Development proposed the day at the Earth Summit. The first World Oceans Day was celebrated in 2009, and various events are held worldwide to raise awareness of the positive and negative aspects of the ocean.
The oceans are essential for the existence of life on Earth, as they provide food for 30% of the world’s population and are socially, culturally, and economically important. From its earliest days, the oceans have nurtured diverse forms of life, and they shelter many fragile ecosystems, allowing a variety of fauna and flora to flourish.
Oceans are crucial for food, economic growth, and understanding weather phenomena, including climate change. They cover over a third of Earth’s surface and can destabilize the entire system if a small change in the oceanic ecosystem occurs. Human activities, such as air pollution and oil leakage, are affecting the oceans’ coastal areas, particularly at river mouths, which are high bio-diversity areas due to sunlight availability. Polluting elements in seawater, such as heavy metals and saline, also pose a threat to life and biodiversity.
In recent years, plastic waste and heavy metals from the Indian subcontinent end up in the oceans, causing millions of tons of pollution annually. Toxic chemicals also negatively affect marine biodiversity and marine vegetation growth. Unlike air and other forms of pollution, there is less concern about ocean pollution.
Maintaining the balance of the oceanic ecosystem is essential for the future of life on Earth. The oceans are vital for the ecosystems that sustain life on Earth, and maintaining their balance is crucial for a secure future.