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Each week on TestTubePlus, we pick one topic and cover it from multiple angles. This week, we're delving deep into everything you've ever wondered or been curious about in regards to the Ocean. Over the course of the week we'll be discussing why they're so important to us, what we don't know about them, how we are currently using them, and much more. Today, Trace explains why its so hard to track how much life is in the world's oceans.
Around 71 percent of the Earth's surface is covered in water. For many years the world only contained four oceans (the Arctic, Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific), but in 2000 the International Hydrographic Organization established the Southern Ocean, which consists of all water below 60 degrees south. Ocean water contains lots of different mineral salts -
(like sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate and bromide), but salinity can vary drastically depending on where on the Earth you are, and salt water actually creates a great environment for a lot of marine life.
It's been estimated that there's up to a million different species living in the seas: 25-80 percent of these species still need to be described: we know they're there, but no one's been able to grab one and get a good look. In 2007, Ward Appeltans, a member of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO led his European team to expand their efforts of creating a list of sea life to encompass all of the world's marine species. It turned out to be a much bigger undertaking than expected. Appeltans and his team contacted more than 250 world experts on marine life to catalog all known species, but there were a surprising number of duplicates catalogued. As of 2012, the team had cataloged 226,000 species (that's not counting marine bacteria). Another 65,000 are waiting to be described in museums and collections. Using a computer simulation, they concluded that between 700,000 and 1 million species live in the sea. This new database is called the World Register of Marine Species.
TestTube Plus is built for enthusiastic science fans seeking out comprehensive conversations on the geeky topics they love. Each week, host Trace Dominguez probes deep to unearth the details, latest developments, and opinions on big topics like porn, exercise, stereotypes, fear, survival, dreams, space travel, and many more.
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Ocean (Encyclopedia of Earth)
"Oceans cover approximately 65.7% or 335 million square kilometers (129 million square miles) of Earth's surface with a volume of about 1,370 million cubic kilometers (329 million cubic miles). The average depth of these extensive bodies of seawater is about 3.8 kilometers (2.4 miles). Maximum depths can exceed 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) in a number of areas known as ocean trenches."
Why Are Oceans Salty? (Live Science)
"Ocean water contains lots of different mineral salts: sodium, chloride, sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate and bromide. These salts enter the ocean through rivers, which pass over rocks and soil, picking up salt along the way."