It’s World Ocean Day: Here’s Why Life Depends On Our Oceans (Forbes)

FORBES | June is the month when the global community honors the crucial services the ocean provides. From World Ocean Day (June 8 this year) to the United Nations Ocean Conference (June 27-July 1), we celebrate that the ocean sustains all life on the planet and call attention to the threats to its future.

Many don’t realize the diverse ways in which our daily life is impacted and sustained by Earth’s marine ecosystems. First, more than half the oxygen in our atmosphere comes from the ocean (primarily from phytoplankton), regardless of where we live and breathe. The ocean also regulates the global climate and influences weather patterns, driving storms that often move far inland. Third, it feeds a lot of us: at least 3.3 billion people, including the world’s poorest, rely significantly on marine products for sustenance, according to the U.N.’s Food and Agriculture Organization. And the seas contribute considerably to the global economy, with about 600 million livelihoods depending on fisheries and aquaculture.

That includes the U.S. economy. More than three-quarters of all U.S. trade relies, at least in part, on maritime transportation routes. In 2019, the U.S. “blue economy” supported 2.4 million jobs and contributed approximately $397 billion to the nation’s gross domestic product.

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