Each day the sunrises and we begin our daily grind, we inevitably will be in touch with the ecology that surround us. When we run the water to brush our teeth and take our showers, when we get in our vehicles and drive to work, when we come home and check our email on our computers, when we call our friends on our cell phones, and when we dispose of our trash throughout our day.
Ecology is the study of our earth – it’s relationships with organisms and their environment, and how those relationships affect the planet. There is a lot we can do as a species to help our environment sustain itself. And a great way to begin is to get educated.
Ocean Ecology / How it affects Life on Land
Ocean ecology focuses on studying how marine life interacts and affects the overall ecology of our planet. Marine life, from the smallest plankton to the unassuming sea turtle to biggest beluga whale interacts in a delicate balance that impacts not only life in the ocean but also life on land.
As we all know, oceans are the cornerstones of life on the planet. Studies have shown that the earliest form of life came from the oceans. Millions of years of evolution enabled this single cell organism to develop lungs and legs for survival on land.
The same is true with our weather patterns. Salinity or the saltiness of our ocean affects weather patterns as less salt in our oceans mean that glaciers are melting at alarming rates pointing to a rapid rise in the earth’s temperature.
Ocean Ecology / Sustainability and Conservation
Ocean Ecologists are concerned primarily with sustainability and conservation. Aside from giving life, the oceans are also teeming with life. Food such as tuna, salmon and other types of fish and sea food abound in the sea. Fish and sea foods are excellent sources of protein and Omega 3 fatty acids. These are some of the essential vitamins and minerals our bodies need in order to function properly.
As we all know, over fishing has become a great concern not only among fishermen but ecologists as well. Species of fish that are essential to the balance in marine ecology are disappearing at alarming rates.
As population increases the demand for food continues to increase as well, pushing some fishermen to capture female fishes with roes and even fry. These species then find it hard to recover their population upsetting balance in marine ecology.
Ocean Ecology / Marine Life
Marine life in turn is also facing challenges as destruction to their natural environment take place at alarming rates. Coral reefs are facing destruction. This “home” not only serves as breeding ground for fishes but is also the habitats of millions of other marine species.
Sea anemone, crabs, shrimp, shells, clams and other marine life make their home in coral reefs. Destruction due to tourism, unscrupulous fishing methods and other man-made disturbances can wipe out a whole ecology in an instant. Coral reefs which are living organisms when destroyed either take decades to repair itself while other coral reefs die, unable to sustain life for these marine families any longer.
Marine biologists and ecologists are seeking ways of restoring the balance and finding ways of conserving life in our oceans. Remember that oceans directly affect life on land. As global temperatures rise, tides and sea levels also increase. When Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the United States in 2005, the effects of global warming on low lying areas became apparent as New Orleans drowned under Katrina’s destructive path.
Hurricane Katrina and its effect on the delicate balance of marine and ocean ecology is just an example of why scientists everywhere are studying the ocean and its impact on life on land. As man wreaks havoc on the environment by constantly abusing its abundance, it is also retaliating by unleashing its fury on ungrateful human beings and man is feeling its full effects as we speak.
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