The Oceans Portal
A portal dedicated to oceans, seas, oceanography and related topics

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Introduction

Surface view of the Atlantic Ocean
Surface view of the Atlantic Ocean

The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Earth's water. An ocean can also refer to any of the large bodies of water into which the world ocean is conventionally divided. Separate names are used to identify five different areas of the ocean: Pacific (the largest), Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and Arctic (the smallest). Seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km2 (139,000,000 sq mi) of the planet. The ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, and therefore integral to life on Earth. Acting as a huge heat reservoir, the ocean influences climate and weather patterns, the carbon cycle, and the water cycle. (Full article...)

Waves in Pacifica, California
Waves in Pacifica, California

The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean, is the body of salty water that covers approximately 71 percent of the Earth's surface. The word sea is also used to denote second-order sections of the sea, such as the Mediterranean Sea, as well as certain large, entirely landlocked, saltwater lakes, such as the Caspian Sea. The sea moderates Earth's climate and has important roles in the water cycle, carbon cycle, and nitrogen cycle. Humans harnessing and studying the sea have been recorded since ancient times, and evidenced well into prehistory, while its modern scientific study is called oceanography. The most abundant solid dissolved in seawater is sodium chloride. The water also contains salts of magnesium, calcium, potassium, and mercury, amongst many other elements, some in minute concentrations. Salinity varies widely, being lower near the surface and the mouths of large rivers and higher in the depths of the ocean; however, the relative proportions of dissolved salts vary little across the oceans. (Full article...)

Oceanography (from Ancient Greek ὠκεανός (ōkeanós) 'ocean', and γραφή (graphḗ) 'writing'), also known as oceanology and ocean science, is the scientific study of the oceans. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers utilize to glean further knowledge of the world ocean, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past. An oceanographer is a person who studies many matters concerned with oceans, including marine geology, physics, chemistry and biology. (Full article...)

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Baltic Sea map2.png
The Gulf of Finland (Finnish: Suomenlahti; Estonian: Soome laht; Russian: Фи́нский зали́в, tr. Finskiy zaliv, IPA: [ˈfʲinskʲɪj zɐˈlʲif]; Swedish: Finska viken) is the easternmost arm of the Baltic Sea. It extends between Finland to the north and Estonia to the south, to Saint Petersburg in Russia to the east, where the river Neva drains into it. Other major cities around the gulf include Helsinki and Tallinn. The eastern parts of the Gulf of Finland belong to Russia, and some of Russia's most important oil harbors are located farthest in, near Saint Petersburg (including Primorsk). As the seaway to Saint Petersburg, the Gulf of Finland has been and continues to be of considerable strategic importance to Russia. Some of the environmental problems affecting the Baltic Sea are at their most pronounced in the shallow gulf. Proposals for a tunnel through the gulf have been made. (Full article...)
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An aerial view of NOAAS Pisces (R 226)

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In the news

4 September 2022 –
A private Cessna 551 crashes into the Baltic Sea, off the coast of Latvia. (BBC News)
2 September 2022 – Persian Gulf crisis
The Iranian Navy captures and later releases two American sea drones in the Red Sea. (MSN)
19 August 2022 – 2022 Oder environmental disaster
The Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries says that a large overgrowth of toxic Prymnesium parvum algae linked to industrial pollution was likely the cause of the mass mortality event of fish in the Oder river. (Reuters)
12 August 2022 – 2022 Oder environmental disaster
A mass die-off of fish occurs in the Oder river in Poland. Polish officials call it an "ecological catastrophe" with Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki vowing to "punish" those responsible. The public has been warned not to enter the water amid fears of possible contamination. (Sky News)
31 July 2022 – Russo-Ukrainian War
A drone strikes Russia's Black Sea Fleet headquarters, injuring five people, according to the mayor of Sevastopol. (The Guardian)

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