Observed from space, our planet’s surface appears to be dominated by the color blue. This blue color occurs because of the presence of the oceans and seas of the world. These features cover approximately 71% or 361 million square kilometers (139 million square miles) of Earth’s surface with a volume of about 1370 million cubic kilometers (329 million cubic miles). The average depth of these bodies of seawater is about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles). Maximum depths can exceed 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in areas known as ocean trenches. The oceans contain 97% of our planet's available water. The ocean is also home to many forms of life uniquely adapted to survive in this habitat. Humans have degraded the oceans and their life through pollution, overfishing, carbon dioxide acidification and resource exploitation.
A sea is commonly defined to be an extended body of saline water associated with one of the worlds five oceans (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Arctic, and Southern oceans). Some seas...
Complex SystemsLast Updated on 2013-10-24 15:13:11
As Science has begun to ask where the enduring features of nature come from and how they work, the answer seems to be “complex systems”. Every kind of thing and event seems to require them. As the science has advanced, and as the modern problems of economies and environmental conflicts emerge, a new kind of science is emerging that requires being very openly exploratory, using all the tools and combining all the related perspectives of others, to develop complex knowledge systems matching the variety of the complex system problems they respond to.
Systems are storms or “like storms” in many respects, complex distributed phenomena that may be either unexpectedly eventful or highly predictable. There’s still a rather wide range of opinion within science as to what complex systems are, even whether they are made of information or... More »
CubozoaLast Updated on 2013-10-23 13:31:26Cubozoans are astounding animals. They resemble basic jellyfish, but they can swim quite rapidly, maneuver with great agility, and have good vision despite not having a brain...Believe it or not!
In general, box jellies are similar in form to the "true" jellyfish, known as scyphozoans. However, it is relatively easy to tell the two groups apart. Cubozoans have a square shape when viewed from above. (Gee, maybe that's how they got their name.) They also have four evenly spaced out tentacles or bunches of tentacles and well-developed eyes. Not surprisingly, given their squishy nature, there are not many fossil cubozoans known. Today, there are about 20 known species found in tropical and semitropical waters. The Australian stinger Chironex fleckeri is among the deadliest creatures in the world, having caused human fatalities.
Cubozoans are rare as fossils. A... More »
Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangrovesLast Updated on 2013-10-17 23:48:27
The Indus River Delta-Arabian Sea mangroves ecoregion represents a mangrove habitat that is adapted to some of the most extreme temperatures and salinity conditions in the Indo-Pacific region. As a transition from the marine to freshwater and terrestrial systems, mangroves provide critical habitat for numerous species of fishes and crustaceans that are adapted to live among the tangled mass of pneumatophores, the roots that reach up from the muddy, anaerobic substrate to obrain the supply of oxygen for the mangrove trees.
This ecoregion lies at the delta of the Indus River, which originates in the Tibetan Plateau and flows through the northwestern part of India and into the arid Thar Desert in Pakistan before finally emptying into the Arabian Sea. There are high salinity levels in the sloughs because of the high evaporation rates and the salts that are washed down by the river,... More »
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), United StatesLast Updated on 2013-10-12 23:55:15
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is a federal agency within the United States Department of Commerce. As a science-based operational agency tasked with monitoring climate and changes in the environment, NOAA is responsible for the study of the atmosphere and the oceans. The agency issues daily weather forecasts and storm warnings, restores coastline, aids the flow of marine commerce, and manages fisheries. NOAA's activities facilitate weather- and climate-sensitive economic activity that account for roughly one-third of the country's gross domestic product (GDP). The agency also responds to natural and man-made maritime disasters, operates a complex network of oceanographic, meteorological and atmospheric data-collecting products and services, and manages marine mammals, marine endangered... More »
Seas of the worldLast Updated on 2013-10-08 22:27:11A sea is commonly defined to be an extended body of saline water associated with one of the worlds five oceans (Atlantic, Indian, Pacific, Arctic, and Southern oceans). Some seas can appear to be distant from the ocean to which they are associated, like the Black Sea which is connected to the Atlantic Ocean, two thousand miles away, via the Mediterranean Sea and several very narrow straits.
Other bodies of inland waetr carry the name sea but are not directly associated with one of the world's oceans, such as the Caspian Sea and the Aral Sea. In most cases, seas are areas of an oceans that are close to and bounded to a greater or lesser degree by land.The degree to which seas are enclosed by land affects the degree to which they share water flows with the larger oceans or seas which they conect to. There are two types of sea defined by their degree of enclosure and connection to... More »
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