We All Need Water to Breathe

Many do not realize that without the global ocean there would be no life on Earth.

A staggering 80% of all the life on Earth is to be found hidden beneath the waves and this vast global ocean pulses around our world driving the natural forces which maintain life on our planet. The ocean covers 70% of Earth’s surface. The average depth of the ocean is 2 or 3 miles. In some places, the ocean is deeper than the tallest mountains are high! The ocean contains about 97% of all the water on Earth.

The oceans provide vital sources of protein, energy, minerals and other products of use the world over and the rolling of the sea across the planet creates over half our oxygen, drives weather systems and natural flows of energy and nutrients around the world, transports water masses many times greater than all the rivers on land combined and keeps the Earth habitable. It is gravely worrying then, that we are damaging the oceans on a scale that is unimaginable to most people.

Water on our planet is a constant source of renewal (water vapour, rivers, lakes, clouds, rain, seas, oceans, glaciers, waterfalls). The cycle is never broken; there is always the same amount of water on earth. All the successive species on earth have drunk the same water. The astonishing matter that is water is one of the most unstable of all. It takes a liquid form as running water, gaseous as vapour or solid as ice.

Everything is linked. Nothing is self-sufficient. Water and air are inseparable, united in life and for our life on Earth. Thus, clouds form over the oceans and bring rain to the landmasses, whose rivers carry water back to the oceans. Sharing is everything. 70% of oxygen, the gas which without we would all die, comes from the algae that live in our oceans. Our earth relies on a fine inter-dependant balance in which every being exists through the existence of another being.

The ocean depends on a subtle fragile harmony that is easily shattered. Thus corals are born from the marriage of algae and shells. Coral reefs cover less than 1% of the ocean floor but they provide a habitat and support thousands of species of fish and sea life. The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia stretches over 350,000 square kilometres and is home to 1,500 species of fish, 4,000 species of molluscs and 400 species of coral. The equilibrium of the ocean depends on these corals.

In reference to oil spills – Crude oil and dispersants can bleach and kill coral. Oil alone is toxic to corals. Effects range from heavy mucous production by the coral causing stress, disruption of reproductive tissues, bleaching, and mortality. Water dilutes the oil’s toxicity, but when chemical dispersants are used the oil is concentrated in highly toxic droplets. Dispersed oils are much more harmful to corals than oil only. This can have increased detrimental effects on corals because the oil can become more available to coming in contact with the coral tissue.

The ocean plays a starring role in whatever happens with the environment. One big part is in the renewal of water, of its role is to soak up energy (heat) and distribute it more evenly around the Earth. The health of the ocean impacts our climate.

Another critical part the ocean places in the balance on earth is to soak up CO2 (created when we burn fossil fuels such as oil, coal, and natural gas) helping prevent global warming. Too much CO2 also affects the PH balance in water creating too much acid which negatively impacts healthy functioning in humans. Too much acid in the ocean also kills the precious coral that keeps our oceans alive.
“We could trigger a mass extinction on a scale not seen for 100 million years,” warns Richard Norris, Professor of Paleobiology at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. “Ocean acidification is a bigger problem than global warming.”

Please always remember, every second breath you take comes from the ocean (algae). We must protect our sacred Mother Earth and Oceans.

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