Portal:Oceans

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

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Introduction

Surface view of the Atlantic Ocean
  • WP:OCP

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, Antarctic/Southern, 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

The sea in a general sense refers to the ocean or world ocean, the body of salty water that covers approximately 71% of the Earth's surface. Used in a particular sense the word sea refers to particular seas either as second-order sections of the ocean, such as the Mediterranean Sea, or 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, carbon, and nitrogen cycles. 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 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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Map depicting the Gulf Coast of Texas, with coastal counties labeled and estuaries color-coded
Map of the major and minor estuaries of the Gulf Coast of Texas

The U.S. state of Texas has a series of estuaries along its coast on the Gulf of Mexico, most of them bounded by the Texas barrier islands. Estuaries are coastal bodies of water in which freshwater from rivers mixes with saltwater from the sea. Twenty-one drainage basins terminate along the Texas coastline, forming a chain of seven major and five minor estuaries: listed from southwest to northeast, these are the Rio Grande Estuary, Laguna Madre, the Nueces Estuary (Corpus Christi Bay), the MissionAransas Estuary (Aransas Bay), the Guadalupe Estuary (San Antonio Bay), the ColoradoLavaca Estuary (Matagorda Bay), East Matagorda Bay, the San Bernard River and Cedar Lakes Estuary, the Brazos River Estuary, Christmas Bay, the TrinitySan Jacinto Estuary (Galveston Bay), and the SabineNeches Estuary (Sabine Lake). Each estuary is named for its one or two chief contributing rivers, excepting Laguna Madre, East Matagorda Bay, and Christmas Bay, which have no major river sources. The estuaries are also sometimes referred to by the names of their respective primary or central water bodies, though each also includes smaller secondary bays, inlets, or other marginal water bodies.

These water bodies include some of the largest and most ecologically productive coastal estuaries in the United States and contribute significantly to the ecological and economic resources of Texas. They are included in a number of national protected areas such as National Wildlife Refuges, a National Seashore, and a National Estuarine Research Reserve, as well as various state parks and other regional protected areas. The two most economically important (the Nueces and Trinity–San Jacinto Estuaries) have been designated by the United States Environmental Protection Agency as estuaries of national significance under the National Estuary Program. The Gulf Intracoastal Waterway runs through each of the major estuaries, linking Texas ports with others along the Gulf Coast of the United States. (Full article...)
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  • Clover grass used to grow in the Pacific Ocean, but has not been seen there since a severe storm in 1996.

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In the news

29 January 2023 – 2022–23 South-West Indian Ocean cyclone season
The death toll from Cyclone Cheneso's landfall in Madagascar has increased to 25, with 21 others still missing. (AFP via ABS-CBN News)
20 January 2023 –
A Dominican man who was lost in the Caribbean Sea for 24 days is rescued by the Colombian Navy. (AP)
10 January 2023 – Territorial disputes in the South China Sea
The Supreme Court of the Philippines nullifies the country's Joint Marine Seismic Undertaking agreement with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and Petrovietnam to conduct joint oil and gas exploration activities within the Philippine exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea since 2005, citing the unconstitutionality of permitting foreign corporations and governments to exploit the country's natural resources. (Reuters via CNN)
7 January 2023 –
Five people are killed and ten others are missing after a boat carrying migrants sinks off the coast of Tunisia. (Al Jazeera)
2 January 2023 – 2023 Gold Coast mid-air collision
Four people are killed and eight others are injured when two helicopters collide near the Sea World theme park in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. (ABC News Australia)

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