Just like Rivers and Lakes, Oceans are a body of water consisting of the planet’s hydrosphere. The world has 5 Oceans in total; which are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Antarctic and Artic Oceans.
All of the world’s oceans have an important contribution to the climate. The oceans do this in various ways and the world’s climate just wouldn’t be the same without the oceans.
Here we will discuss how the oceans have a global impact on the planets climate.
1. Keeps the Planet warm
One of the ways the oceans affect our climate is by keeping the planet warm.
Over 90% of the heat radiated by the sun is absorbed by the oceans and the remainder is absorbed by the land. The oceans basically act as a large big solar water heater for the earth keeping the planet warm. The majority of radiation is stored in the tropical regions near the equator. The planet’s atmosphere also helps to retain some of the heat from the sun which may get lost in space otherwise.
The ocean has the capacity to store heat for long periods which may influence the temperatures of the regions close to the oceans.
2. Precipitation Patterns
Oceans help to distribute the heat globally. Water molecules, upon warming up, turn into water vapor through the process of evaporation in which water is evolved from the oceans into the atmosphere to generate rainfall. This also increases the humidity and the temperature of that particular area. The clouds filled with rain can then travel long distances via wind to causes potential rainfall in various regions across the planets, however all rainfall that occurs on land eventually comes back to the oceans again.
Most of the heat absorption and subsequent rainfall occurs in tropical areas of the earth, as evaporation rates are highest in those regions.
3. Ocean Currents
The weather patterns of our planets are also controlled by the Ocean currents, generated by multiple factors. The movement of ocean currents is clockwise in the northern hemisphere and anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere. These are basically the movements of the oceans created due to winds, temperature, salinity gradient, tides and rotation of the earth.
Ocean helps in transporting heat from one part of the planet to another and water from one part of the planet to the other as well. Water and precipitation is transferred to the North and South Pole and from the poles they may be transferred to the tropical region.
They act as regulators of the earth’s climate and prevent the temperature from approaching wide extremes in various regions.
4. Habitat of Millions of Marine Organisms
The ocean is housing many photosynthetic organisms which help in producing oxygen for the planet and also cutting down carbon dioxide from the planet in the process. This has helped in reducing the greenhouse effect which is created by greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide. These organisms include Algae, Phytoplankton and Cyanobacteria.
The organisms, by regulating the greenhouse effect, help regulate the temperature as there are no available gases to absorb the heat. This prevents the rise in the temperature of the planet.
5. Influence of Ocean currents on Climate
The oceans have a major influence on the temperature and climate in the region.
The difference in temperature between land and ocean helps bring in monsoon rainfall to the land. The cold air on the land moves towards the ocean keeping the land warm and the ocean’s warm moist air in the summer bring rainfall to the land.
The world’s climate is interconnected through various factors, and all of them have a specific role which they have to fulfill to keep the climate of the earth from deviating to the extreme. With this in mind we must also realize that the choices we make may have an impact on the climate. Climate change is real and has the ability to ruin our lives; it is our job to keep it quarantined as long as we can to protect our planet from catastrophe.