The role of the ocean – IN SCHOOL

Have you heard of polar gigantism? You can see them in the sea spiders of Antactica. They could be as big as your dinner plate! Scientists are studying if global climate change and global warming have an impact on them, because this is not a normal phenomenon in arthropods. Marine life needs an environment that is in equilibrium, an environment that is beyond human intervention to survive. The hopes of maintaining that equilibrium is dwindling. Global warming has led to unprecendented ice melt, making the sea water less saline.

Further,ocean currents depend on the salinity of water, especially the thermohaline currents, for their natural movement. Their mechanism is as follows – as the heavy sea water sink, lighter water rise to the top. Phytoplankton, also known as microalgae, rely on ocean currents to travel through the water. In a balanced ecosystem, phytoplankton provide food for a wide range of sea creatures including whales, shrimp, snails, and jellyfish. If the difference in densities are going to change, there will be no deep ocean current. If the balance is not maintained, marine life will be affected.

The ocean currents also have an impact on our climate. They distribute the solar radiation across continents.

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