Breakdown: Why our oceans are important
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface.
Oceans are an essential component of the Earth’s ecosystem -- a source of biodiversity, food, and life.
The world ocean provides so many benefits. Here are ten things the ocean does for humans and the planet, according to NOAA:
- The air we breathe: The ocean produces over half of the world’s oxygen and absorbs 50 times more carbon dioxide than our atmosphere.
- Climate regulation: Covering 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, the ocean transports heat from the equator to the poles, regulating our climate and weather patterns.
- Transportation: Seventy-six percent of all U.S. trade involves some form of marine transportation.
- Recreation: From fishing to boating to kayaking and whale watching, the ocean provides us with many unique activities.
- Economic benefits: The U.S. ocean economy produces $282 billion in goods and services and ocean-dependent businesses employ almost three million people.
- Food: The ocean provides more than just seafood; ingredients from the sea are found in surprising foods such as peanut butter and soymilk.
- Medicine: Many medicinal products come from the ocean, including ingredients that help fight cancer, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, and heart disease.
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