Those of us who live hundreds or even
thousands of miles from the ocean are aware that oceans exist, and
we may even be aware of some of the life forms that inhabit the
oceans. We may be less well informed about how much the oceans
affect our daily lives and how they make life on land possible.
The oceans contain all of the elements necessary for life to exist.
These elements have been dissolved from the crust of the earth and
have then been locked up in rock deposits like halite (salt), gypsum
(calcium sulfate), dolomite (calcium magnesium carbonate), and many
others. Marine organisms make shell material out of these elements.
Oil is produced by organisms taking material from the sea. As oceans
dry up or are displaced, these great mineral deposits end up far
inland. Kentucky’s famous bluegrass is blue because of magnesium
present in an ancient ocean.
The oceans also allow weather systems that sustain life on earth.
Most of the land on earth is located in the Northern Hemisphere, so
the Southern Hemisphere is mostly water. When the earth is closest
to the sun the Southern Hemisphere faces the sun. Since it is mostly
water, a majority of the extra energy of the sun is focused on the
water. Water holds a large amount of heat without raising the
temperature very much. If the part of the earth facing the sun when
it is the closest were mostly land it would cause extremely high
temperatures. When the earth is at its greatest distance from the
sun more land faces the sun allowing temperatures to rise without
Because water absorbs so much heat it provides warmth to the entire
planet during times of cold, so even places north of the Arctic
Circle have substantial heat available. This heat also evaporates
massive amounts of water providing rain which brings life to all
parts of the planet. Even in places thousands of miles from the
ocean, much of the water that falls as rain began its journey to the
clouds in the ocean.
Proverbs 8:28 – 30 talks about
the wisdom used to create and control the sea and the more we learn
about the sea and its vital role in sustaining the planet, the more
we marvel at that wisdom.
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