New study explores mysteries of oceans

ABU DHABI — The Centre of Information Affairs in Abu Dhabi has published a new study titled "The World Oceans" which tackles a number of interesting issues, including ocean exploration, ocean formation and how life began in the sea, a statement from the centre said.

By A Staff Reporter

Published: Mon 7 Jul 2008, 1:19 AM

Last updated: Sun 5 Apr 2015, 6:06 PM

The study points out that water covers almost three-quarters of the earth's surface, but the discovery of oceans and seas came late due to the delay in inventing tools and instruments necessary to measure the depths of seas and monitor the various ocean phenomena, such as waves, sea currents, wind's direction and speed, water salinity, sea animals and plants.

By inventing the first tools to study and measure water depths, a new era of ocean exploration started, especially after the discovery of steam power, which revolutionised maritime transportation, the study notes.

Then started, the study notes, a new era of oceanography, beginning with the Challenger Expedition in 1872 — a ship that was furnished with sophisticated tools and equipment for gathering data on many aspects of ocean life, the book says.

It also examines the formation, the beginning of life in oceans, and the distribution of land and water on the planet, stating that the age of seas and oceans is said to be around three billion years. The study deals with the main oceans in the world: the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, and Northern (Arctic) Ocean. The Pacific Ocean covers about one-third of the earth's surface area, and contains a large number of islands (about 30,000).

The Atlantic Ocean covers one-sixth of the earth's surface area, and contains a number of islands, including Greenland, British Islands, and others. The Indian Ocean, which is small, compared to the first two, also contains a number of islands. The Northern Arctic Ocean covers 5.5 million square miles, but most of it is closed during winter seasons, due to its frozen water, says the book.

The book also tackles natural resources existing in oceans and seas, indicating that oceans and seas are important sources of metals, including gold, chrome, magnesium etc. Oil also is one of the most important mineral resources found in oceans at present, the study notes, indicating that the exploitation of fishery resources is the most immediate benefits man gains from seas and oceans.

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