#FactFriday: 5 key reasons to care about oceans during this climate crisis

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#FactFriday: 5 key reasons to care about oceans during this climate crisis

Hello readers.

Welcome to #FactFriday on CleanbuildVoices!

Did you know that water covers about 71% of the Earth’s surface? Amazing, wouldn’t you agree?

Calm, serene, sparkling, are some of the nice words often used to describe the ocean. And when you observe beach waves gently drenching the sand during a beautiful sunset, it sure can have a soothing effect.

Aside from the tranquil feeling we get by merely gazing at oceans, they play important roles in sustaining life on earth as well as supporting humanity during this climate crisis.

In this edition of #FactFriday, we delve into the beautiful world of oceans to dish up some facts that we’ve uncovered. What’s more, we will also share a few pictures of oceans that might inspire you to feel strongly about preserving them in the little ways you can.

Fact #1: Oceans produce more than half of the world’s oxygen

Oceans are often overlooked as a source of oxygen. Yet, it is interesting to know that they produce a whopping 70% of the world’s oxygen. Even more, they absorb 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere, thanks to an ocean-based microscopic plant called phytoplankton. This alone is proof of how oceans are helping to tackle climate change

Whether you live close to the ocean or not, from every ten breaths you take, seven come from the ocean.

Fact #2: Oceans regulate the climate

Oceans soak up the heat from the atmosphere and depending on location, they transport warm or cold water from different parts of the earth to stabilize the world’s temperature.

Imagine the world has no oceans, then the weather would be extreme in many regions, leaving just a few places habitable. Sadly, climate change effects- rising sea levels- have intensified weather-related disasters causing excessive rainfalls, droughts, and floods.

Fact #3: Oceans are rich in biodiversity

Asides from aquatic lives such as dolphins, whales, or a turtle, scientists predict that there are more than 300.000 different species underwater. This is good because biodiversity can help to combat threats due to climate crisis, unsustainable fishing, and land-based pollution.

If you are a diver, snorkeler, marine explorer, or an avid fan of documentaries, you probably have seen the underbelly of oceans where tiny marine species of various shapes, colors, sizes flourish within their ecosystems.

Fact #4: Oceans are great for tourism and recreation

Maldives, Santorini, Greece, Ha Long Bay, Vietnam are among the most beautiful places on earth. What these locations have in common are their beautiful beaches which are magnets for drawing tourist attractions.

Healthy oceans and coastal ecosystems are not only a source of revenue for countries that have them, they are also essential contributors to global efforts to reduce climate change.

Fact #5: Ocean health is tied to human health

Enough can never be said about the negative impacts of human activities on the health of the world’s oceans. In many parts of Africa, the aesthetic beauty of some water bodies has been lost due to floating plastics, discarded rubbish, and oil/chemical spillage among other things.

According to research human actions such as marine pollution, ocean acidification, and even overfishing have a direct impact on our health. For instance, swimming in polluted seas can lead to respiratory illness and inflammation of the intestines. Having ingested toxins, some aquatic lives when eaten can cause food poisoning.

How can you help save the oceans?
  • Educate others
  • Leave nothing behind when you go to beaches
  • Participate on ocean cleanup days
  • Speak up against industries and other marine polluters

Governments have a greater responsibility to protect the oceans and marine life. They need to penalize companies responsible for marine pollution while ensuring clean up of plastics, oil, and chemical spills.

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