Oceans of the World


Ocean Biome Climate

The average temperature of all the oceans is about 39 degrees F. The tropical oceans which are near the equator are warm and very clear on the surface. The sun's heat warms only the surface of the water. Deep down in the oceans everywhere is cold, dark and still, and also in the cold polar regions of the far north and far south the ocean is so cold that its frozen.

Southern ocean

Location: between the continent of Antarctica
Area: Total area is 20.327 million sq km. The southern ocean includes a few seas, such as Ross Sea, a small part of the Scotia Sea and the part of the Drake Passage.
Comparing Area: It’s 2 times the size of the US
The coastline is estimated to be 17,968 km.
Climate: The sea temperatures are from 10 degrees Celsius to -2 degrees Celsius. It also includes cyclonic storms that travel around the continent. The winds found on it are the strongest in the world.
Terrain: The southern ocean is estimated to be from 4,000 to 5,000 meters.
Natural resources: large and possible giant oil and gas fields, Manganese nodules, sand and gravel, fresh water as icebergs, squid, whales, and seals, krill and fishes.
Natural Hazards: huge icebergs with additional drafts up to several hundred meters. Deep continental shelf floored by glacial deposits, high winds and large waves, and ship icing
Environment current issues: there is an increased solar and ultraviolet radiation resulting from an Antarctic ozone hole that is damaging the DNA of some fish, illegal and unreported fishing and a large amount of incidental morality of seabirds.
Environment international agreements: the southern ocean is subject to all international agreements the include some of the following: international whaling commission that prohibits commercial whaling, Convention on the conservation of the Antarctic seal which limits sealing.

The Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of the world's five oceans.
Location: It’s a body of water that lies between the southern ocean and the western hemisphere. The total area is 155.557 million sq km. it’s about 15 times the size of the U.S. and it covers about 28% of the global surface. The climate is planetary are pressure systems, really strong wind patterns, tropical hurricanes and a rainy season occurs during the summer months. The terrain is surface currents in the northern pacific that are dominated by a clockwise warm – water circular system of currents. The lowest point of elevation is 10,924 m and the highest point is sea level 0 m. Natural resources is oil, gas fields, sand and gravel. Natural hazards are that it’s surrounded by the ring of fire. Environmental current issues is the there are endangered marine animals such as sea lions and sea otters, seal and turtles.

The Atlantic Ocean

The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean of the worlds 5 oceans.
It’s located between Africa and the western hemisphere. The area is a total of 76.762 million sq km. The climate is that of tropical cyclones and hurricanes. The terrain concludes that there is a clockwise warm – water broad circular system of currents. The lowest point of elevation is 8,605 m and the highest point is sea level 0 m. Natural resources includes oil, gas fields, fish, marine animals, sand and gravel. Natural Hazards are icebergs and ice fishing. Environmental issues are endangered marine animals that include seals and sea lions, turtles and whales.

The Indian Ocean

The Location of this ocean lies between Africa and Australia. The total area is 68.556 million sq km. It’s about 5.5 times of the U.S. The climate is Monsoon, tropical cyclones. The terrain is that the surface is dominated by a counterclockwise broad circular system of currents and atmospheric pressure. The lowest point of elevation is -7,258 m and the highest point is sea level 0 m, Natural resources is oil and gas fields, fish and shrimp, sand and gravel. Natural Hazards are occasional icebergs. Environmental current issues are endangered marine species like seals, turtles and whales.

Vegetation & Adaptations


are microscopic plants that are very important to the ocean and to the whole planet. They are the base of the food chain. They live near the top of the ocean to stay alive and get their energy from the sun and nutrients to grow. To adapt, they shift to varies of sunlight through out the water.

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have plant-like features, but they are considered algae. They are photosynthetic like plants, meaning they can convert energy into sunlight for materials to grow. They consist of roots, stems, leaves, and reproductive structures like flowers. They can float atop the water, submerge in groups in the ocean, and even be washed ashore. To adapt they absorb nutrients through their cellular structure.

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Animals of Ocean Biome & their adaptations

Coral Reefs

  • Coral reefs are among the most diverse and productive communities on Earth. They are found in the warm, clear, shallow waters of tropical oceans worldwide. Reefs have functions ranging from providing food and shelter to fish and invertebrates to protecting the shore from erosion. Through symbiosis with unicellular algae (zooxanthellae), reef-building corals are the source of primary production in reef communities. Because of the important ecological and economic roles coral reef communities fulfill, an understanding of the stresses and dangers to the reefs is necessary. Fortunately, many of the human induced hazards to coral reefs can be remedied.
    • Sea Turtles

Sea turtles, air-breathing reptiles with streamlined bodies and large flippers, are well adapted to life in the marine environment. They inhabit tropical and subtropical ocean waters throughout the world. Although sea turtles live most of their lives in the ocean, adult females must return to beaches on land to lay their eggs. They often migrate long distances between foraging grounds and nesting beaches. All 7 species of marine turtles are listed under the Endangered Species Act (ESA); 6 of those species fall under the jurisdiction of the NOAA Fisheries Office of Protected Resources.
    • Whales:

Or Cetaceans , the group of mammals that includes the whales, dolphins, and porpoises. Cetaceans have very strong social ties.They travel, sometimes in groups (pods), from cold-water feeding grounds to warm-water breeding grounds.Whales are large, magnificent, intelligent, aquatic mammals. They breathe air through blowhole(s) into lungs (unlike fish who breathe using gills). Whales have sleek, streamlined bodies that move easily through the water. They are the only mammals, other than manatees (seacows), that live their entire lives in the water, and the only mammals that have adapted to life in the open oceans.
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  • Sharks belong to the class of fish, Chondrichthyes. They live in waters all over the world, in every ocean, and even in some rivers and lakes.Some sharks live near the surface, some live deep in the water, and others live on or near the ocean floor.There are many different species of sharks that range in size from the size of a person's hand to bigger than a bus. There are about 368 different species of sharks, which are divided into 30 families. These different families of sharks are very different in the way they look, live, and eat. They have different shapes, sizes, color, fins, teeth, habitat, diet, personality, method of reproduction, and other attributes. Sharks vary greatly in their diets, but they are all carnivores.

Bony fish:

  • Bony fish are fish that have a skeleton made of bone. They also have teeth that are fixed onto the upper jaw. They have a swim bladder (an air filled sac that helps them with buoyancy) that opens into the gullet. Bony fish do not have to swim to breathe (to push water through the gills).The fins of these fish have jointed, bony rays that support them. These fish have large eyes and no internal nostrils. Most bony fish are in this subclass. Examples: herring, eels, sturgeon, salmon, lantern fish, milk fish, garpikes, carp, catfish, toadfish, anglers, cod, flying fish, John Dory, sticklebacks, seahorses, scorpionfish, perch, flatfish, triggerfish, pufferfish, these fish being prey to some of the larger fish like sharks.

Major Products/exports/goods/services of Biome

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Ocean is a major contributor to the world economy and especially to nations who their waters directly touch. It provides sea transportation, as well as recreational boating (I.e. Cruise Liners), extensive fishing grounds, offshore oil and gas fields, minerals, and sand and gravel for the construction industry. In 1996, over 60% of the world's fish catch came from the Pacific Ocean. Exploitation of offshore oil and gas reserves is playing an huge role in the energy supplies of the US, Australia, New Zealand, China, and Peru. The high cost of recovering offshore oil and gas, as well as the wide swings in world prices for oil since 1985, has led to fluctuations in new drillings.

Human stresses on the ocean

Humans can have a significant impact of the biology of the ocean where we alter its chemical composition. Some of the ways human activities influence ocean chemistry are explained below, including sewage and trash, storm drain and river run-off, and oil spills.

Sewage and trash

All over the world (including the USA), sewage and trash are dumped into the sea. This ranges from raw, untreated sewage, to partially treated sewage. Chemically, sewage acts like fertilizer and can be responsible for toxic plankton blooms.. Another possible effect is detoxification which kills marine life because there is not enough oxygen in the water to breathe.Sewage may also introduce diseases and unhealthy chemicals like heavy metals and carcinogens into coastal waters. Although the ocean is good at ridding itself of pollutants by chemical processes and dilution, as coastal populations grow, so do the human impacts on the marine environment.

Storm Drain and River Run-off-

These sources of marine pollution may begin far away from the coast. The term for this is non-point source pollution.
What goes down the gutter in your neighborhood? Looking out the window, I see a Styrofoam coffee cup, oil and gasoline, soap from washing cars, a candy wrapper, water from fertilized lawns, and cigarette butts. Fertilizers, soap, and organic wastes will increase plankton and bacteria levels in the ocean the same way sewage does. Oil and gasoline are toxic in both freshwater and saltwater. Debris like trash can entangle or be eaten by birds, fish and mammals which can be very harmful .Chemical pesticides, chemical substances used to kill harmful animals or insects, and fertilizers, chemical or natural substances put on the land to make crops grow better, are yet another source of pollution. When it rains, the pesticides and fertilizers get taken off of the plants and end up in our oceans, killing ocean plants and animals.

Oil spills

Oil floats on the surface of sea water, so when oil spills occur, the oil tends to end up on the shore where it negatively impacts coastal wildlife and humans. It can hurt wildlife by matting down bird feathers, sticking to fish gills, disrupting breeding, and by poisoning animals and plants. Humans are affected when beaches are closed and seafood cannot be harvested.
Once an oil spill occurs, chemicals can be used to disperse the oil, but these chemicals may also be toxic to marine life. To clean up a spill with minimum impact to the environment, bioremediation may be used. In this process, nitrogen and phosphorous-rich fertilizers are added to contaminated beaches to promote the growth of bacteria that essentially "eat" the oil.

Boating Pollution and car emissions

Boating pollution is the pollution that comes from the boat’s engine when it is running, and it pollutes the water, killing animals with the chemicals in the exhaust from the engine. The engine gives off excess gasoline, which pollutes the waters and ends up killing the animals. As well as boats being a source of pollution car emissions play an even larger role in the health of the ocean environment. Car emissions end up in the form of acid rain. Although it’s not directly driven to the ocean after surface run-off occurs the water is then transported back to the ocean releasing these harmful chemicals that come out of your car.

The Ocean Zones

From the shiny, clear sunlight zone to the dark, murky midnight zone, lie facts about the three different zones of the ocean. Even though the very bottom zone is about ninety percent of the ocean, more than ninety percent of the ocean’s sea life lives in the top zone, which is why it is important that we do not pollute our oceans.

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Sunlight Zone

The sunlight zone is also called the Euphotic Zone. This zone is the top zone, and it is also the smallest. The sunlight zone is only about 600 feet deep, but ninety percent of the ocean’s sea life lives in the sunlight zone. This zone is home to a wide variety of marine life because plants can grow here. Plants can grow here because sunlight can get to the plants in this zone, so the plants can do photosynthesis and grow. Also, the water temperature is warmer than any other zone in the ocean. The sunlight can reach this zone and warm the ocean water, so it is warm enough for fish and other sea life. Sharks, tunas, mackerels, jellyfish, sea turtles, sea lions, seals, and stingrays are a few of the animals that live in the sunlight zone. This zone is especially important when it comes to common oil spills, and is most impacted by all forms of pollution because it is the first zone.

Twilight Zone

The twilight zone is also called the Disphotic Zone. In depth, the twilight zone is about 2,400 feet, making it the second largest zone. As the water becomes deeper, the water pressure becomes higher. Almost no sunlight can reach this zone. Therefore, very few plants can grow here. The only animals that can live here are those that can adapt to very little sunlight, really cold temperatures, and very high pressure. The few animals that can live in the twilight zone are lantern fish, rattalk fish, hatchet fish, viperfish, mid-water jellyfish, octopus, and squid. This zone is mainly affected by pollution from metals and toxic chemicals. These toxic chemicals settle in the sea, and eventually some of the fish eat these chemicals and will eventually die because of the toxic waste they are putting into their bodies.

Midnight Zone

The midnight zone is also called the Aphhotic Zone. Ninety percent of the ocean is the midnight zone. This zone happens to be the bottom zone, so it is completely dark. Very few creatures in the ocean live in the midnight zone because the water pressure is extreme and it is near freezing down that far. One problem caused by pollution that occurs in the midnight zone is called anoxic water. This means that there is no or hardily any dissolved oxygen in the water. When there is no dissolved oxygen, fish and other creatures can’t breathe, and they will quickly die from a lack of oxygen. Some of the creatures that live at this depth might die or migrate to other parts of the ocean. If they do migrate, there is a possibility that there could become a problem in the food chain.

Sources/Citations & links page**

http://oncampus.richmond.edu/academics/education/projects/webunits/biomes/oclimate.html http://www.gdrc.org/oceans/fsheet-01.html
http://oceanlink.island.net/oinfo/seaweeds/seaweeds.html http://www.freakinfucus.co.uk/primers/prim_seastruct.htm http://www.dkimages.com/discover/previews/875/60001498.JPG