Oceans and Global Warming

ISIS Press Release 21/07/06

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho explains how oceans determine climate and influence climate change. Urgent need to shift away from fossil fuels to renewable options (Which Energy?)

Oceans of life

Oceans are vast, deep, and mysterious. They cover 71 percent of the earth’s surface and contain approximately 97 percent of the earth’s water [1]. The average depth of the ocean is almost 4 000 metres [2], and nearly half the area is over 3 000 metres deep.

The oceans are home to the majority of plant and animal life on earth, accounting for 90 percent of the world’s living biomass, and many new species are being discovered from the depths. The Census of Marine Life (COML), an international alliance of scientists from 70 countries, discovered some 13 000 new species in 2003 alone [3]. COML is amassing data to create a map of the distribution of 38 000 marine species from plankton to whales.

According to one theory, life on earth originated around hydrothermal vents in the deep seafloor that heat up the water to 450 C [2]. Rare creatures living there today are still able to obtain energy from chemical reactions in the same way as the primordial life forms, and do not need to depend directly or indirectly on photosynthesis for food like 99.97 percent of the biosphere.

Oceans and climate

Oceans affect climate in many ways [4]. As the major reservoir of water, oceans dominate the movement of water, supplying most of the water vapour in the atmosphere by evaporation. Of this evaporated water, 91 percent is returned to the oceans as precipitation, the remainder is transported and precipitated over landmasses. Runoff and groundwater from land flow back to the oceans [5].

Read the rest of this article here //www.i-sis.org.uk/OceansGlobalWarming.php

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