importance of the oceans

biologically rich

The oceans are home to an enormous amount of life. That is, they have tremendous biodiversity (Figure 1.1). Tiny ocean plants, called phytoplankton, create the base of a food web that supports all sorts of life forms. Marine life makes up the majority of all biomass on Earth. (Biomass is the total mass of living organisms in a given area.) These organisms supply us with food and even the oxygen created by marine plants. Polar bears are well adapted to frigid Arc- tic waters. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL: Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:

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oceans moderate climate

The oceans, along with the atmosphere, keep temperatures fairly constant worldwide. While some places on Earth get as cold as -70o C and others as hot as 55o C, the range is only 125o C. On Mercury temperatures go from -180o C to 430o C, a range of 610o C. The oceans, along with the atmosphere, distribute heat around the planet. The oceans absorb heat near the Equator and then move that solar energy to more polar regions. The oceans also moderate climate within a region. At the same latitude, the temperature range is smaller in lands nearer the oceans than away from the oceans. Summer temperatures are not as hot, and winter temperatures are not as cold, because water takes a long time to heat up or cool down.

water cycle

The oceans are an essential part of Earths water cycle. Since they cover so much of the planet, most evaporation comes from oceans and most precipitation falls on oceans.

instructional diagrams

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questions

how are oceans important?

a) they keep earths temperature the same.

b) they are a small part of the water cycle.

-->  c) they provide lots of habitats so that they have a lot of different species of organisms.

d) all of the above

biodiversity is the total mass of living organisms in a region.

a) true

-->  b) false

which of the following is not true?

a) oceans give earth a more moderate climate.

-->  b) without oceans there would be less evaporation and so less precipitation on earth.

c) without oceans, earth would have much less biodiversity.

d) earth is an enormous reservoir for water.

which of the following is true?

a) water changes temperature more quickly than land.

b) water changes temperature more quickly than the atmosphere.

-->  c) water changes temperature more slowly than land.

d) none of these.

temperature range is smaller on land near a large water body than on land far from a large water body.

-->  a) true

b) false

oceans moderate earths temperature by

-->  a) absorbing heat near the equator and moving it nearer to the poles.

b) absorbing heat near the tropic of cancer in the summer and moving it near the tropic of capricorn in the winter.

c) absorbing heat near the tropic of capricorn in the summer and moving it near the tropic of capricorn in the winter.

d) none of these.

the oceans important to the water cycle because most evaporation comes from and precipitation falls on the oceans.

-->  a) true

b) false

how are oceans important to climate?

a) they distribute heat around the planet.

b) they moderate climate within a region.

c) they lessen the temperature range of nearby lands.

-->  d) all of the above.

marine life

a) is not as abundant or diverse as terrestrial life.

-->  b) supplies us with food and oxygen.

c) is less well adapted to its habitats than terrestrial life.

d) all of these.

the range of temperatures on earth is much less than the range in temperatures on mercury.

-->  a) true

b) false

diagram questions

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