On World Oceans Day, see why everyone should care about one of the most mysterious, life-supporting, and invaluable habitats on the planet.
A remarkable 99% of the world’s biosphere, the spaces and places where life exists, call our ocean home. Scientists estimate between 700,000 to a million species live here and roughly two-thirds of these haven’t even been discovered or officially described.
Before and after bleaching in American Samoa. Photo courtesy The Ocean Agency / Ocean Image Bank
Warmer sea temperatures driven by human-caused climate change have bleached our planet’s coral to death. If average global temperatures increase beyond 1.5 Celsius, experts suggest we’ll lose all the world’s coral reefs.
The most single revelatory three minutes for me was the first time I put on scuba gear and dived on a coral reef.
— Sir David Attenborough
Our health is intimately tied to the ocean. Take out the food, jobs, and oxygen that it provides, the ocean serves as a medicine cabinet. Active biological compounds that fight cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s disease are all sourced from ocean life. And there are more potential medicines in the ocean, still waiting to be found. Scientists are even using organisms discovered at extreme depths to speed up the world’s COVID-19 response.
A healthy ocean saves lives, protects our health, and the future of our planet.