An ocean is a body of salt water that spreads across the planet. Over 70 percent of our Earth’s surface is covered by oceans. In this article, we will look at the uses of oceans.
There is one global ocean which covers our planet. This huge spread of open water is divided into different groups. They are named based on their region and location. We know them as the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Southern and Arctic Ocean.
Our biggest ocean is the Pacific Ocean and the smallest is the Arctic Ocean. We also have amazing features in the oceans, such as the Mariana Trench which is the greatest depth reached in our ocean.
We also have ‘The Ring of Fire’ which is a series of volcanoes located in the Pacific Ocean. Some of these volcanoes are active and cause major earthquakes and eruptions.
There is a lot more to oceans than meets our eyes. It isn’t just water, there are plenty of geographical wonders and ways in which we use our oceans. We will take a look at what are the uses of oceans.
Why Are Oceans So Important?
Without our oceans, our planet would look completely different. Some people call the ocean as the heart of our planet. It covers over 70 percent of the surface of Earth.
Oceans produce the majority of the planet’s oxygen that we breathe. The oxygen produced by oceans is used by us, plants and other wildlife. Oceans also provide us with food and many other amazing features which we couldn’t live without.
Let’s talk about what the uses of oceans are and why we so desperately need them.
What Are The Uses Of Oceans?
Oceans produce more oxygen than the Amazon forests
When we talk about oxygen, we think of the rainforest producing the world’s supply. However, the oceans actually produce our main supply of oxygen. The rainforests do product a huge amount, just under 30 percent, but the mighty ocean gives us over 70 percent.
It is crazy to think that out of every ten breaths that you take, seven of them come from the ocean. How cool is that This is one of the most important uses of oceans that we have because it allows us to live. But how does the ocean produce oxygen?
Phytoplankton is our secret saviour. It is a minuscule plant that lives in our oceans. They act like plants on land, taking in carbon dioxide and then converting it to use oxygen.
The amazing thing about phytoplankton is that they move by the currents of the ocean so are spread across the world. They are some of the smallest organisms on our planet, but incredibly they are some of the most important to us humans.
Oceans regulate the Earth’s climate
The oceans are important for the climate of the Earth. It does sound crazy that the vast water can change the temperature but it is so important. The ocean soaks up all the heat from the atmosphere and transports it from pole to pole.
The currents in our ocean allow for the heat to be transported, without them, we would have various places that are inhabitable due to extreme climates. Our oceans also have an effect on the rain and also droughts. Our oceans absorb the carbon dioxide which is a part of the carbon cycle.
It plays a major part in keeping the balance acting as a control system for the climate of the planet.
Oceans provide an important food source
We all know protein is essential for humans, but did you know that the ocean is the biggest source of protein for us? We consume a lot of fish, it is over 15 percent of the protein humans consume each year.
Food from the ocean is the second best use of oceans we have. We can obviously look at fish as being the primary food source coming from the ocean, for the most part, you’d be right. However, we can also harvest algae and sea plants for dishes such as sushi in Asian culture.
Also, in the Philippines, they use seaweed for various meals. There has been a boom in the health and fitness industry of different sea plants. They have been shown to have amazing health benefits. But of course, the main source of food from the oceans are fish.
With the population of the world ever increasing, we keep looking to the oceans to supply us with more and more food each year. Oceans allow us to survive, without the oceans we would struggle to meet the food demands every year.
We are always trying to find ways to conserve the oceans to help reduce waste and overfishing because in years to come we will be depending on our oceans. There may be a stage when food alternatives like seaweed and algae become the norm.
Many beings live in the ocean
The ocean provides habitats not just for humans. We have to remember that the ocean is home to the greatest wealth of life on Earth. For these creatures, it is a major use of oceans.
How amazing are the videos of dolphins and whales swimming close to boats, or if you have been lucky enough to see them in real life. They are just a minuscule number of beings that live in the ocean. There are so many lifeforms in our oceans that many haven’t even been discovered yet.
It is amazing to think of the depths of our oceans that we have so many creatures we don’t know about. There are an estimated 300,000 different types of underwater species. Many of these we know of, lots we are yet to discover. Yet they all play a huge role.
Every single one of these beings belongs to a food chain and ecosystem. They all have a role to play in the circle of life and any change to these ecosystems can be drastic, not only to underwater creatures but humans too.
Over 60 percent of the world lives on the coast. This means that humans are just as dependant on a healthy ocean as these incredible creatures.
Tourism depends on our oceans
One of the business uses of oceans is tourism. Many tourists flock to ocean tourism locations every year. There are swimming attractions, surf zones, deep dive sports and many more.
Also, we see cruises sailing around the world becoming a major tourist attraction. More and more, the uses of oceans for the tourism world develops and its creating big business. The Great Barrier Reef is a prime example of this.
We see millions of people visit every year to go scuba diving and see one of the wonders of the world. Seeing beautiful sea creatures and the stunning coral is a sight to behold.
Oceans provide plenty of jobs
It is estimated that over 50 million people in 2016 had jobs related to fisheries and the aqua industry. This is an incredible amount and just shows another use of oceans. We have so many different areas of industry related to the world of water.
As mentioned before we have tourism, which provides different jobs. Tourism makes good use of oceans as you have plenty of staff working on ships, entertainers, water sports instructors, and teachers just to name a small few.
When you look at the fishing industry we need skilled workers to provide our growing planet with a growing demand for fish. Around the world, we need fisherman and crew to help with the supply needed to sustain us.
Then we have people working to protect our oceans and creatures. We have researchers discovering new organisms and beings.
We have organizations protecting habitats for species and helping to prolong the lifespan of oceans. The oil industry is one of the biggest businesses in the world, we have plenty of offshore oil and gas rigs that help to collect and mine for different minerals and items.
Ships need repairing and looking after, we have an amazing workforce dedicated to this and making sure they are running at full capacity and in their best condition. In the USA alone there are nearly 3 million jobs related to our oceans.
The uses of oceans create jobs and provide people with a fantastic way to earn a living.
The ocean has therapeutic properties
Another of the uses of oceans is medicine. Many of the drugs we use to help fight viruses are found in the ocean. There is a drug that helps to fight cancer was found in small marine animals and others have been obtained from a Caribbean sponge.
There are plenty of health benefits to being in the water. Another use of oceans is the effect it can have on humans. When humans dip their heads into the water, our heart rate begins to slow helping blood to move around the body.
The oceans help us to feel relaxed. Studies have shown that the sounds and sights of the ocean can help us to feel calm and at ease. It can help to improve our mood and relieve us from stress.
Oceans are useful for transportation
For centuries we have used oceans as a means for transport. Whether that is transporting goods, people or anything else, the waterways are vital for us.
Before planes, a boat was the way to travel long distances. Even now, we use boats for carrying cargo all around the world and use cruise ships as an alternative for flying. Oceans are the pathway to see the world and allow us to send items all over the Earth.
Statistics show that more than 95 percent of US trade passes through ports into America. Without our oceans, this would be impossible and we couldn’t provide supplies needed to keep up with demands.
Shipping provides a more cost-effective way to transport goods and supplies, so our oceans provide a fantastic use for helping to keep our worlds supplies.
Oceans contain natural resources
The floor of the ocean is home to coral and creatures, however, this is where we find the minerals needed to supply our planet. When we drill down we can access oil and gas which is used all around the world for energy and power the Earth.
Natural gas is used worldwide and without it, we couldn’t power what we use every day. The USA gets over 80 percent of its energy from oil and other fossil fuels so it shows how important the minerals located at the sea bed are.
Oceans provide clean energy
As shown above, we can get many types of fuels from the oceans, but we can also create clean energy from the power of the oceans.
We know that energy created by waves and ocean currents are around 90,000 terawatts. This figure is due to increase with better technologies, but it is great to know that with fossil fuels becoming more and more used, we can rely on our amazing oceans to help provide power.
Clean energy helps to protect our planet, even protecting those millions of creatures in the ocean to live in harmony together for longer.
Knowingly or Unknowingly, oceans became an important part of our lives, but our technology and fast-moving cultures polluting oceans which will affect our lives so badly in the future. Majority of the ocean contains plastic. We use plastic wherever and whenever we want if we can able to restrict the plastic usage that can help our lives and also the oceans.