We have already polluted the ocean a lot. It’s high time to protect our oceans from further pollution and degradation. World Ocean Day was commemorated as an official occasion in the year 2008. While only the governments and organizations responsible for the ocean have the power to frame and get the laws related to the oceans passed, we the common people can also do our bit to safeguard our beautiful and expansive water bodies. We should not only adhere to rules and regulations ourselves but also spread awareness to people who we find less informed or less inclined towards their duties in regard to our beautiful environment. Awareness should be in such a way that people understand the beautiful role of the ocean in our lives. This year’s theme excellently encompasses the beautiful relationship between humans and oceans.
Why are the oceans significant to humans?
We all know that our beautiful oceans are becoming very volatile due to the rise in temperature for which climate change is responsible. They are also becoming filthy due to plastics for which we humans are responsible. We should stop the practise of making our oceans dump yards. Let’s understand ocean’s value by understanding its significance for each and every life on earth:
Ocean is home to the largest ecosystem of earth – Countless species of marine life reside in the oceans. We are aware of so many ocean creatures but the interesting part is that humans have been able to explore just 5% of marine life. 95% remains unexplored. Since we are drowning the oceans with plastic, much of the biodiversity would get extinct. We must not forget that we humans depend on not only food but also a large number of medicinal organisms that are available nowhere but in oceans.
Oceans produce oxygen – Do you know that almost 70% of oxygen that we all breathe is produced by oceans. Phytoplankton are tiny ocean plants which grow near the surface of the ocean and create oxygen in our atmosphere as a by-product of photosynthesis.
Ocean absorbs carbon dioxide – About 30% of carbon emissions are absorbed by oceans. The man-made CO2 either sinks into the sea or gets dissolved and remains at the surface of the water. This stops air pollution but proves to be detrimental for the ocean. A problem called ocean acidification has erupted since several millions of years now making our oceans chemically imbalanced.
Oceans regulate the weather – Whether it is rainfall, floods or droughts; they get regulated by the ocean. The more we emit carbon, the more residual energy and heat will get built up in oceans increasing the ocean temperature. This volatility largely affects the amount of rainfall, droughts or floods we face. If we are not able to control the volatility and rising temperature of oceans, we will witness more extreme weather in future.
This World Ocean Day, people and communities who are specifically staying in coastal areas should pledge to protect the vast treasure that they possess. While the governing authorities work upon newer ways to ensure oceans’ better upkeep, they should be work upon being more responsible citizens. After the pandemic is over, people going for coastal vacations should do their bit by enjoying it with more mindfulness.