- Our Future: Solutions
- Science: Explained
- Wavemaker: Resources
The Ocean is a vital life-support system to all life on Earth
Everything that we rely on in our day to day lives – from our water, food, and every second breath – leads back to the Ocean.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve become disconnected from our blue planet.
Why is our Ocean so important?
If we were in space and looked down at Earth, we would mostly see the colour blue.
Our Ocean covers over 70% of the planet, which is why we call it our Blue Planet. It produces over 50% of the oxygen we breathe; meaning that every second breathe we take comes from the Ocean.
Our Ocean helps regulate the temperature on land and is responsible for global weather patterns like storms and heatwaves (which we’ve been seeing more of in the recent years).
It absorbs the sun’s heat, transferring it to the atmosphere and distributing it around the world – warming in the winter and cooling in the summer. Our Ocean is a key driver of how our world functions and yet it’s usually low down on governments agendas.
How many of these Ocean facts do you know?
Containing roughly 97% of the world’s water, our Ocean supports all life on Earth.
It is home to thousands of plants and organisms. And yet, scientists estimate that 91% of species are still to be discovered. Should we stop looking for aliens on Mars and start looking for our own E.T in the Ocean?
From the oldest species in the entire world to the largest living animal in the world – the blue whale – the Ocean’s biodiversity is astonishing.
With only roughly 5% of the Ocean explored until now, we are only just beginning to scratch the surface of the mystical world that exists below the surface of our deep blue sea.
For all of our reliance on the Ocean, a majority of it is a vast, underwater realm that remains unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored. It’s time to unlock more of the Ocean’s secrets.
How the Ocean supports all life
Our Ocean provides us with food and facilitates pleasure, as well as livelihoods for millions, if not billions of people.
But it’s not just a commodity. The Ocean is restorative. It calms and connects us. The positive impact it can have on our wellbeing is incredible.
As humans, we depend on the Ocean for a huge part of the oxygen, water and food we need to survive.
Did you know that 17% of animal protein that is eaten around the world comes from the Ocean?
To this day, many people’s jobs rely on fishing and water-based transport. The Ocean is a crucial component of entire global economies.
5 ways the Ocean helps our wellbeing:
- The movement of gentle Ocean waves and fish in an aquarium is known as Heraclitean Motion. These peaceful, repetitive movements are psychologically calming.
- Studies have shown that people perceive nature as a positive, and spending time amongst it is known to improve mood.
- Various studies have shown improved mental and physical health in those who spend time near the coast.
- When swimming, breathing patterns affect the brain and increase positive hormones.
- The sounds of waves support meditation techniques.
So, why are so many of us so disconnected from the Ocean?
Do you think of the Ocean as something you only see while on holiday? Or perhaps you live in a city or town, so you feel it’s too far away for you to feel connected to it?
You may be shocked to know, 1 out of every 2 people in the world live near coastal areas.
And because the Ocean provides every second breath, the Ocean has an impact on our lives no matter where we live. Our actions have an impact on the Ocean too.
Did you know that there is now new water made on Earth? The same water cycles around. This water cycle is a closed loop that has existed for billions of years.
We are deeply connected to this global water body, influencing our everyday lives in so many ways, like every single thing we eat, breathe and drink.
Without a healthy Ocean, we will not have a healthy future.
We all need to understand how important the Ocean is to our daily lives to be continually motivated to protect it.