Oceans cover most of ours plasmashville247.net, but we still have a lot come learn about this tremendous ecosystem. Brush up on your understanding of our watery world for human being Oceans Day.

You are watching: The pacific ocean is shrinking while the atlantic ocean is expanding

1. Earth"s seas are distinct in the cosmos — as far as we know

(Source: Enjoylife2/iStockphoto)

Earth is the only recognized plasmashville247.net or moon come have huge bodies of fluid water top top its surface. Ours plasmashville247.net lies in the "Goldilocks" ar — not as well hot, not also cold and with sufficient atmospheric press to protect against liquid surface ar water from evaporating into space.

Although we don"t yet know of any kind of other plasmashville247.nets or moons with liquid water oceans, it"s likely that they carry out exist and also we just haven"t found them. In our very own solar system, there is growing evidence that the plasmashville247.net Mars may have liquid water not on the surface but underground. Over there is also solid evidence the liquid oceans may be hidden beneath the thick icy surfaces of 3 of Jupiter"s moons (Europa, Callisto and Ganymede) and two of Saturn"s moons (Titan and also Enceladus).

2. Because that every varieties of maritime life we know of, in ~ least one more three space yet to it is in discovered

(Source: Queensland mind Institute)

Our oceans teem v life varying from the blue whale — the biggest animal on planet — to tiny microbes.

But no one knows exactly how plenty of different species live in this environment. There is no data for about 20 per cent the the ocean"s volume.

The Census of marine Life, a 10-year global project to recognize life in our oceans, found virtually 250,000 species. Yet scientists believe a least a million types of maritime life might be out there, and that"s no counting the tens or even hundreds of millions of kinds that microbes that comprise the bulk of naval life.

What we do recognize is that ocean life survives in the most extreme environments. Researchers have uncovered life that deserve to survive in temperatures that melt lead, wherein seawater freezes into ice, or there"s no irradiate or oxygen.

In fact, the dark s zone between 1000 and also 5000 metres known as the abyssal zone has a far greater variety of maritime life 보다 we once thought.

The deep waters approximately Australia"s good Barrier Reef are house to a stunning array of life such as the deep sea jellyfish atolla (above), which was found by Australian scientists in 2006.

3. Water takes about 1000 years to take trip all the way around the totality globe


The seas not only have waves, tides and also surface currents — they likewise have a constantly moving system of deep-ocean circulation thrust by temperature and salinity.

Known together the worldwide ocean conveyor belt or thermohaline present (thermo = temperature, haline = salinity), this deep ocean existing gets among its "starts" in the polar an ar near Norway.

As sea ice forms, the water left behind becomes saltier and denser and also begins to sink, make room because that warmer and also less thick incoming surface water, which in turn ultimately becomes cold and also salty enough to sink.

The cold dense water flows follow me the s bottom every the method from the northern hemisphere come the Southern ocean where the merges with much more cold thick water indigenous Antarctica and is swept right into the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

Eventually it mixes through warmer water and rises to the surface before finding its method back come the Atlantic. It can take 1000 years to finish this cycle.

4. Fifty percent of all the oxygen us breathe is developed in the ocean

(Source: NOAA MESA Project)

Some of this oxygen is produced by sea weeds and also sea grasses, yet the vast bulk of the oxygen is created by phytoplankton, microscopic solitary celled organisms that have the ability to photosynthesise. These small creatures live in the surface layer of the s (and in lakes and rivers) and type the very base the the aquatic food chain.

During photosynthesis, phytoplankton eliminate carbon dioxide from sea water and release oxygen. The carbon becomes part of your bodies.

5. The oceans may seem vast, yet they"re little compared to the all at once size of our plasmashville247.net


About 71 per cent that the Earth"s surface is spanned by water, however the mean depth that the seas is only around 4.2 kilometres. The deepest suggest is in the Marianas Trench in the Pacific Ocean, roughly 11 kilometres listed below sea level.

To gain some idea of exactly how the median depth of the oceans compares come the scale of the Earth, imagine if the world"s tallest building (the 829-metre Burj Dubai) to be the street from the center of the earth to the surface. The typical depth of the seas would it is in the indistinguishable of just 10 centimetres in ~ the very top. Mount Everest would certainly be another 21 centimetres above that.

All of the water on planet (the oceans, i m sorry account because that 96.5 per cent, add to groundwater, rivers, lakes, snow and ice) would certainly fit right into a sphere around 1,385 kilometre in diameter, follow to the united state Geological Survey. The Earth"s diameter is about nine times bigger (12,700 kilometres).

6. Rogue waves really execute exist

(Source: kldy/iStockphoto)

For centuries naval folklore has had tales of huge waves the would show up without warning in mid-ocean and also sink ships, also in good weather. These rogue waves space not have to the greatest waves ever discovered at sea, however isolated waves means bigger than what any type of crew could expect in a offered sea state.

By definition, rogue waves space ones whose height is an ext than double that the the prevailing conditions.

The biggest scientifically measure up rogue waves were encountered in February 2000, through the british oceanographic study vessel, the RRS Discovery. West of Scotland it tape-recorded individual tide of as much as 29.1 metres, practically the height of a 10 storey building.

The reasons of these waves room not totally understood, but they seem to happen much more often once a strong ocean present runs counter to the direction the the waves.

7. Seas hold about 50 times an ext carbon than the environment


Cold water deserve to dissolve much much more CO2 than warm water, therefore the cold polar regions are smashville247.net absorbers of CO2. Yet as the cold water find its method to warmer tropical areas, the oceans release CO2 ago into the atmosphere. The equatorial Pacific is assumed to be the biggest single natural resource of CO2 in the atmosphere. Many of this carbon is exchanged with the environment on a timescale of several hundred years.

Prior come the commercial revolution, the uptake and also release of CO2 top top land and ocean was in a dynamic equilibrium. Since then, the seas are assumed to have absorbed about half of the carbon dioxide released from the burning of fossil fuels, with the rest staying in the atmosphere.

Read more: The carbon cycle: blink and also you won"t miss out on it.

8. The great garbage spot is an ext like a plastic soup

(Source: Tim Silverwood)

The presence of theThe good Pacific rubbish "patch" in the north Pacific s was evidenced in 1997. The lies at the centre of a large rotating ocean present — or gyre. Due to the fact that then, a soup that plastic pollution has actually been uncovered at the center of every the world"s major gyres — in the southern Pacific, the North and South Atlantic and also in the Indian Ocean.

Plastic trash take away a an extremely long time come bio-degrade in the oceans. The plot of sunlight and also wave motion tend to rest plastic objects into smaller and also smaller pieces until they eventually end up being smaller than a grain of sand. That"s why there is no apparent floating island that plastic debris, however rather a fine soup of plastic particles floating in the water column.

These fine particles are currently thought come act choose sponges, concentrating pollutants such together PCBs, DDT and also PAHs. Once the particles room ingested by filter feeding sea creatures, they get in the food chain and ultimately right into fish destined for person consumption.

They additionally harbour unique colonies of microbes, however it is too beforehand to speak what impact this arising "plastisphere" will have actually on marine ecological environments.

Plastics only came into widespread use after 1945, but can already be found in every component of the marine atmosphere from the surface ar to the seafloor.

9. The Atlantic ocean is obtaining bigger and the Pacific s is getting smaller


Twenty million years earlier there to be no Atlantic Ocean. However then, thanks to plate tectonics, the south American and also North American continents were separated by a rift sink that ultimately turned into the Atlantic Ocean. The complementary forms of the southern American and African continents have long to be noticed, however it wasn"t till the 1960s that the theory of key tectonics came to be accepted together the explanation.

These days, the Atlantic ocean is growing at a price of five centimetres per year, as brand-new sea floor is produced by volcanic task along that is mid-ocean ridge.

On the various other hand, the much older Pacific ocean is right now estimated to be shrinking by two to three centimetres every year. Again, this comes under to key tectonics since the Pacific Ocean has actually subduction area on 3 sides — where the Pacific bowl submerges beneath other plates.

The Pacific"s "Ring that Fire" generally maps the locations where this subduction occurs and accounts for around 90 every cent that the world"s earthquakes.

10. The many remote point in the oceans is called suggest Nemo

The part of the s farthest native land lies in the southern Pacific and also is well-known as allude Nemo or "The Pole the Inaccessibility".

Point Nemo isn"t an actual "point" as (obviously) there"s no land over there — it"s just a spot in the ocean that happens to be 2,688 kilometres native the nearest land — Ducie Island, part of the Pitcairn Islands, come the north; Motu Nui, among the Easter Islands, to the northeast; and Maher Island, part of Antarctica, come the south.

The name "Nemo" originates from Jules Verne"s Captain Nemo of Twenty thousands Leagues under the Sea — no the film Finding Nemo. If you go to Google Earth and also zoom in come 48°52.6′S 123°23.6′W you"ll discover it thoughtfully marked.

See more: Convert 2 Liters Equals How Many Quarts Conversion (L To Qt)

World seas Day is 8 June.