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World Oceans Day 2019: Why oceans are the reason we are able to breathe

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New Delhi, June 08: Today is World Oceans Day which is observed to spread awareness about the role these massive water bodies play in keep conditions in the planet conducive to life.

Oceans are sometimes referred to as the lungs of our planet as these massive water bodies provide most of the oxygen we breathe. The purpose of the Day is to inform the public of the impact of human actions on the ocean, develop a worldwide movement of citizens for the ocean, and mobilize and unite the world's population on a project for the sustainable management of the world's oceans.

World Oceans Day 2019: Why oceans are the reason we are able to breathe

Oceans play an important role in regulating earth's climate which is key for life to sustain on the planet. With increasing amount of waste being dumped into oceans, a concrete universal plan is needed to conserve oceans.

The World Oceans Day is celebrated on June 8 every year with the aim to spread awareness about importance of oceans in our lives, no matter where on earth we live. Oceans are massive water bodies which have impact on climate across the planet, and any change in the nature of oceans is bound to adversly affect the earth's environment. Increasing dumping of waste is pollutng the oceans and the changes are already visible.

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World Oceans Day is an annual observation to honor, help protect, and conserve the world's oceans. The ocean provides us with many resources and services including oxygen, climate regulation, food sources, medicine, and more. World Oceans Day also provides an opportunity to take personal and community action to conserve the ocean and its resources.

How pollution and global warming will affect oceans?

Global warming refers to the rise in the average temperature of the Earth's climate system and its related effects. The largest human influence on climate change has been the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Climate model projections indicated that during the 21st century, the global surface temperature is likely to rise a further 0.3 to 1.7 °C in the lowest emissions scenario, and 2.6 to 4.8 °C in the highest emissions scenario. The rise in temperature will lead to melting of polar ice caps which in turn would result in rising ocean levels. The rise in ocean levels puts population residing in coastal regions at risk as chances of Tsunamis and ocean water usurping the land will increase significantly.

Oceans and climate:

The world's ocean is crucial to heating the planet. While land areas and the atmosphere absorb some sunlight, the majority of the sun's radiation is absorbed by the ocean. Particularly in the tropical waters around the equator, the ocean acts a as massive, heat-retaining solar panel. Earth's atmosphere also plays a part in this process, helping to retain heat that would otherwise quickly radiate into space after sunset.

The ocean doesn't just store solar radiation; it also helps to distribute heat around the globe. When water molecules are heated, they exchange freely with the air in a process called evaporation.

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Ocean water is constantly evaporating, increasing the temperature and humidity of the surrounding air to form rain and storms that are then carried by trade winds, often vast distances. In fact, almost all rain that falls on land starts off in the ocean. The tropics are particularly rainy because heat absorption, and thus ocean evaporation, is highest in this area.

Ocean currents are primarily a response to exchanges of momentum, heat, and water vapor between ocean and atmosphere, and the resulting ocean circulation stores, redistributes, and releases these and other properties. The atmospheric part of this coupled system exhibits variability through shifts in intensity and location of pressure centers and pressure gradients, the storms that they spawn and steer, and the associated distributions of temperature and water content.

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