Oceans

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  • GCMD Oceans
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Abstract from DBPedia
    The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth and contains 97% of Earth's water. Another definition is "any of the large bodies of water into which the great ocean is divided". Separate names are used to identify five different areas of the ocean: Pacific (the largest) Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and Arctic (the smallest). Seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km2 (139,000,000 sq mi) of the planet. The ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, and therefore integral to life on Earth. Acting as a huge heat reservoir, the ocean influences climate and weather patterns, the carbon cycle, and the water cycle. Oceanographers divide the ocean into different vertical and horizontal zones based on physical and biological conditions. The pelagic zone consists of the water column from surface to ocean floor throughout the open ocean. The water column is further categorized in other zones depending on depth and on how much light is present. The photic zone includes water from the surface to a depth of 200 m, where photosynthesis can occur. This makes the photic zone the most biodiverse. Photosynthesis by plants and microscopic algae (free floating phytoplankton) creates organic matter from chemical precursors like water and carbon dioxide. This upper sunlit zone is the origin of the food supply which sustains most of the ocean ecosystem. Light only penetrates to a depth of a few hundred meters; the remaining ocean below is cold and dark. The continental shelf where the ocean approaches dry land is more shallow, with a depth of a few hundred meters or less. Human activity has a greater impact on the continental shelf. Ocean temperatures depend on the amount of solar radiation reaching the ocean surface. In the tropics, surface temperatures can rise to over 30 °C (86 °F). Near the poles where sea ice forms, the temperature in equilibrium is about −2 °C (28 °F). Deep seawater temperature is between −2 °C (28 °F) and 5 °C (41 °F) in all parts of the ocean. Water continuously circulates in the oceans creating ocean currents. These directed movements of seawater are generated by forces acting upon the water, including temperature differences, atmospheric circulation (wind), the Coriolis effect and differences in salinity. Tidal currents originate from tides, while surface currents are caused by wind and waves. Major ocean currents include the Gulf Stream, Kuroshio current, Agulhas current and Antarctic Circumpolar Current. Collectively, currents move enormous amounts of water and heat around the globe. This circulation significantly impacts global climate and the uptake and redistribution of pollutants such as carbon dioxide by moving these contaminants from the surface into the deep ocean. Ocean water contains large quantities of dissolved gases, including oxygen, carbon dioxide and nitrogen. This gas exchange takes place at the ocean surface and solubility depends on the temperature and salinity of the water. The increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to fossil fuel combustion leads to higher concentrations in ocean water, resulting in ocean acidification. The ocean provides society with important environmental services, including climate regulation. It also offers a means of trade and transport and access to food and other resources. Known to be the habitat of 230,000 species, it may contain far more--perhaps over two million species. However, the ocean is subject to numerous environmental threats, including , , and The continental shelf and coastal waters that are most influenced by human activity are especially vulnerable.

    大洋(たいよう、英: ocean)または大海洋(だいかいよう)・独立海(どくりつかい)は、水圏の大部分を占める、それぞれが接続した地球上の海の主要領域。一般には北極海・太平洋・大西洋・インド洋・南極海の5つに区分される。これらの大洋はそれぞれ固有の海流を持ち、また潮汐を発生させる元ともなる。大洋以外の海は副洋 (独: Nebenmeere) またはと呼ばれ、地中海のように大陸の間にある狭い面積の海や紅海のような大陸内部に存在する海、また日本海のように大陸の沿うものまたは北海のような大陸から直角に伸びる海などが当たる。 英語 ocean の語源はギリシア語の Ὠκεανὸς, "okeanos" オーケアノスである。 全大洋面積の過半が深さ4267m程の水深にある。大洋の平均塩分濃度は3.5%程度であり、ほとんどの水域で3.0-3.8%の範囲に入る。科学者による推計では、23万の海洋種が知られており、さらにその10倍の種が存在する可能性がある。 大洋は生物圏に重要な役割を果たす。大洋の蒸発は水循環においてほとんどの降雨の元であり、大洋の温度は気候や風を決定付け、陸地の生物へ影響を与える。

    (Source: http://dbpedia.org/resource/Ocean)

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