Related topics: climate change · earth · nasa · carbon dioxide · atmosphere

Sleeping giant could end deep ocean life

A previously overlooked factor—the position of continents—helps fill Earth's oceans with life-supporting oxygen. Continental movement could ultimately have the opposite effect, killing most deep ocean creatures.

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Ocean

An ocean (from Greek Ωκεανός, Okeanos (Oceanus)) is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface (an area of some 361 million square kilometers) is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas. More than half of this area is over 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) deep. Average oceanic salinity is around 35 parts per thousand (ppt) (3.5%), and nearly all seawater has a salinity in the range of 30 to 38 ppt.

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