Every year there is an increasing number of fires in the Amazon, Australia and around the world and it is bringing to light the importance of our forests around the world. Forests produce oxygen and of course, we need that to survive. Any efforts to stop the fires that continue to increase and any efforts to stop deforestation are a welcome aid to the survival of humanity. Yet you may be interested to know that there is another source of oxygen that is rarely talked about, the ocean.
Phytoplankton is a microscopic plant that lives primarily on the surface of the water. If it helps, try to think of the character Plankton from Spongebob Squarepants, just a little less evil. Phytoplankton is incredibly important as they produce oxygen like any other plant life.
Scientists believe that phytoplankton contributes between 50% and 85% of the oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere. The reason for the broad range is because no one is sure exactly how much phytoplankton there is in the world. While scientists can see how much individual phytoplankton produces, they are unable to calculate their population.
This article is not to suggest that we no longer need to worry about the forests around the world, we do. However, we also need to take more care of our oceans. Ocean life is huge and caring for the oceans is key to sustaining that life. However, it is now clear it is essential to sustaining our own lives as well.
Today the ocean is treated like a dump. There is too much waste in the ocean and too many oil spills to take account of. While many people look for the reasons why climate change is taking place and why the earth is in poor health the answers are all around us, especially in our oceans.