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The Ocean Ecosystem: Its Significance for Our Planet

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The oceans are known as the heart of our blue planet because their water covers more than two-thirds of the earth’s surface, and is responsible for producing 70% of the oxygen in our atmosphere. A close connection exists between climate change and the ocean. Marine ecosystems are saltwater environments defined by their unique biotic factors such as plants, people of the marine kingdom, and microbes. These ecosystems also include abiotic factors like sunlight, seawater temperature, ocean depth, and distance to the coasts.

The ocean ecosystem and its habitats play a vital role in maintaining our planet’s well-being, and regulate the global climate in many ways. The ocean absorbs a substantial amount of heat from the sun. The ocean also regulates rain and droughts by evaporating water in massive amounts that condenses and falls as rain on land. The ocean is also an unlimited renewable energy source. Ocean plants such as seagrass, phytoplankton, kelp, and algae absorb CO2 and produce oxygen. These plants sink to the ocean floor as they die. Their carbon dissolves in seawater, forming carbonic acid, and is ultimately removed from the marine system, and converted to methane, coal, oil, natural gas, and limestone, which humans can use.

The ocean ecosystem and its habitats are a fundamental part of maintaining a healthy global biosphere. However, they are dying due to global warming, rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and damaging fishing practices. In addition, widespread fishing affects the ocean ecosystem’s biodiversity, destroys coral reefs, and harms other people of the marine species. Besides ocean acidification and fishing, plastic pollution is another significant threat to the ocean. At the current rate, the ocean will effectively be dead by the year 2050 because of humanity’s destructive impact.

Supreme Master Ching Hai has shared the best way to solve this global crisis. “Researchers in the US came up with a simple comparison. According to calculations they performed, they concluded that eating a vegan diet for a year is more effective at cooling the planet than driving a hybrid vehicle for the same period of time. So we can see that putting down the meat is more important than forgoing a gas-powered car.”
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