10 Reasons Why We Should Protect Our Oceans
Here at tentree, we're focused on planting trees. We plant 10 for each item purchased! But we know that the Earth needs help on so many fronts, and one of those fronts is our oceans.
The ocean is what makes our planet habitable for all life. Without it, neither us, nor the trees tentree plants, would have anything to live off of. Here’s ten reasons why we need to save our oceans.
1. Oceans affect the weather
The oceans are the planet’s thermostat. While the sun heats the equator all year round, the circulation of this heated water keeps other parts of the world warm. Like the Gulf stream warms Europe, the ocean cools the centre of the planet and warms the extremities, creating even heat distribution. This is exactly why Vancouver gets barely any snow and we all want to move there.
2. The ocean is home to species we have yet to discover
Earth is mostly water, and amongst that water you’ll find between 700, 000 to a million different species. More than half of these have yet to be identified, named or described. Losing our oceans means losing life on earth that hasn't even been discovered yet.
3. The ocean reduces carbon dioxide in the atmosphere
While our carbon dioxide output has increased drastically over the last hundred years, the oceans have been trying very hard to reduce what we’ve been pumping into the atmosphere. We know that the plants on land absorb about a third of what’s emitted, but what most don’t know is that the ocean absorbs another third. This carbon dioxide is filtered to the deepest depths of the ocean to be reabsorbed into the rocky bottom. It takes nearly 100 years for this CO2 to be recycled and as the water absorbs it, it becomes increasingly acidic. So as the emissions increase, the ocean loses it’s ability to absorb it, and this CO2 is left in the atmosphere as the final third. This CO2 increases the temperature in the atmosphere, leaving us like a dog locked in a car on a sunny day.
4. The water cycle provides water for all life on earth
Even the cactus, the only plant capable of living in the desert, needs a yearly downpour to survive. When water evaporates from the ocean and the clouds come in toward land, fresh rain falls and gives life to everything around us. This water creates forests, plants, fruits and vegetables. We’ve all taken a science class in our lives and learned that sunlight and water are what create sustainable life on earth.
5. Fewer natural disasters
Currently, we’re emitting CO2 faster than the oceans or plants can absorb it. This will lead to rising temperatures, melting ice caps and a rising sea levels. While temperatures rise, more water is evaporated, greater clouds are formed and higher winds blow. All of these factors increase the hurricanes and typhoons happening all over the world. However, the more trees that are planted, the more CO2 can be recycled into oxygen and the less acidic our oceans become.
6. The ocean is a great source of food
Fish is often used as a resource for many countries to feed their people and grow their economy. Although we don't often think of the hundreds of people involved in getting the wide selection of fish in our grocery stores onto the shelves, without this industry thousands of people would lose their jobs. Fish keeps roofs over many heads and food in many bellies.
Marine life is mostly a mystery to the humane race. It will take hundreds of years for humanity to discover the species and ecosystem that lays beneath the surface of the oceans. Yet, we could devastate the ocean before we have a chance to discover the mysteries that lay within it. Not to mention, our future generation might live a very difficult life due to not having any ocean.
7. Drinking water for dry countries
In some part of the world where fresh water isn’t available, they rely solely on desalination, the process of removing salt from saltwater, for drinking water. This isn’t the most sustainable practice, but water is so critically important in every person’s life that these countries need to do what’s necessary to survive; the oceans make this possible.
8. The ocean provides people with an income
Many cities attract tourists through their beautiful coast lines, like the Maritimes for example. Places that rely on tourism to survive would lose this source of income and many would subsequently lose their jobs if the oceans were no longer healthy. Keeping our shorelines clean and our water swimmable keeps our coastal cities afloat.
9. The ocean inspires leisure activities
Lastly, we can’t forget the fun we have exploring the oceans. Whether it’s sailing or snorkeling on our vacation days or going crazy on a polar bear swim, the oceans are a great source of joy.
The ocean is part of our humanity. It brings us serenity and peace, fun with friends and family, or just a de-stressing day on the sand. Without it we would not be here, and this is why each of us needs to do what we can to reduce our carbon footprint.