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The Oceans Portal
A portal dedicated to oceans, seas, oceanography and related topics

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Surface view of the Atlantic Ocean

The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth and contains 97% of Earth's water. Another definition is "any of the large bodies of water into which the great ocean is divided". Separate names are used to identify five different areas of the ocean: Pacific (the largest) Atlantic, Indian, Southern (Antarctic), and Arctic (the smallest). Seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km2 (139,000,000 sq mi) of the Earth. The ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, and therefore integral to life on Earth. The ocean is a huge heat reservoir and influences climate and weather patterns. the carbon cycle and the water cycle. (Full article...)

Waves in Pacifica, California

The sea, connected as the world ocean or simply the ocean, is the body of salty water that covers approximately 71 percent of the Earth's surface. The word sea is also used to denote second-order sections of the sea, such as the Mediterranean Sea, as well as certain large, entirely landlocked, saltwater lakes, such as the Caspian Sea. (Full article...)

Oceanography (from the Ancient Greek ? "ocean" and "write"), also known as oceanology, is the scientific study of the ocean. It is an important Earth science, which covers a wide range of topics, including ecosystem dynamics; ocean currents, waves, and geophysical fluid dynamics; plate tectonics and the geology of the sea floor; and fluxes of various chemical substances and physical properties within the ocean and across its boundaries. These diverse topics reflect multiple disciplines that oceanographers utilize to glean further knowledge of the world ocean, including astronomy, biology, chemistry, climatology, geography, geology, hydrology, meteorology and physics. Paleoceanography studies the history of the oceans in the geologic past. An oceanographer is a person who studies many matters concerned with oceans including marine geology, physics, chemistry and biology. (Full article...)

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Structure of a typical virus, in this case a phage. The appearance of these viruses has been likened to a miniature lunar lander. They are essential to the regulation of marine ecosystems.

Marine viruses are defined by their habitat as viruses that are found in marine environments, that is, in the saltwater of seas or oceans or the brackish water of coastal estuaries. Viruses are small infectious agents that can only replicate inside the living cells of a host organism, because they need the replication machinery of the host to do so. They can infect all types of life forms, from animals and plants to microorganisms, including bacteria and archaea.

When not inside a cell or in the process of infecting a cell, viruses exist in the form of independent particles called virions. A virion contains a genome (long molecules that carry genetic information in the form of either DNA or RNA) surrounded by a capsid (a protein coat protecting the genetic material). The shapes of these virus particles range from simple helical and icosahedral forms for some virus species to more complex structures for others. Most virus species have virions that are too small to be seen with an optical microscope. The average virion is about one one-hundredth the linear size of the average bacterium. (Full article...)
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  • Flashes of light emitted by the sea snail Hinea brasiliana may act as a "burglar alarm".

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In the news

24 July 2021 - Climate change in Australia
The World Heritage Committee rejects calls from UNESCO to list the Great Barrier Reef as a World Heritage Site "in danger" from the effects of anthropogenic climate change and ocean acidification, in line with scientific consensus on the Reef's health. Australia lobbied a number of oil-rich countries, including Russia and Saudi Arabia, to reject the proposal. (The Guardian)
9 July 2021 - Russia-Ukraine relations
The Ukrainian Ministry of Defence accuses Russia of hacking the website of the Ukrainian Naval Forces to publish fake news and upload false documents regarding naval drills between Ukraine, NATO, and most Black Sea nations. (RFEL)
6 July 2021 - Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky Air Flight 251
Kamchatka Aviation Enterprise Flight 251 crashes near the sea in Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia, killing all 28 people on board. (Al Jazeera)
3 July 2021 - Iran-Israel proxy conflict
An Israeli cargo vessel travelling towards the United Arab Emirates in the northern Indian Ocean is struck by an "unknown weapon" and damaged. No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but Iran is blamed. (Jerusalem Post)
3 July 2021 - European migrant crisis
At least 43 migrants die in the Mediterranean Sea during a shipwreck. The boat had departed from Zuwara, Libya, carrying migrants from Egypt, Sudan, Eritrea and Bangladesh. Eighty-four others were rescued, according to the Red Crescent. (Reuters)



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