The abiotic, or non-living, factors influencing the world’s oceans include temperature, sunlight, wind and dissolved minerals. These factors contrast with biotic factors, such as fish, plankton and dolphins. Both biotic and abiotic factors affect local ecosystems, but the biotic factors are often determined first by the abiotic factors.Continue Reading
Each summer, the plankton population in the Arctic Ocean grows to its highest levels. This primarily occurs because the melting ice, which is caused by the abiotic factor of temperature, carries numerous minerals with it as it flows into the ocean. This abundance of plankton attracts whales and fish, which often make yearly migrations to these northern areas. These fish and whales benefit from the plankton, and when they return south, predators, who benefit from the abundant minerals, eat the whales and fish.
Another example of an abiotic factor is pollution. Pollution can take many forms, including dangerous chemicals, such as petroleum, trash and agricultural runoff. Additionally, thermal pollution may occur when hot water from factories and power plants is discharged into the water. This causes a rise in the local water temperature, which impacts the plants and animals living in the area. If the animals cannot adapt to the warm temperatures, they are likely to move away or die out.Learn more about Bodies of Water
Some parts of the tropical areas of Earth's oceans receive between 115 and 197 inches of rainfall per year due to massive amounts of water evaporating from the ocean's surface. Trade winds carry this evaporated water to different areas where it cools and then falls back into the ocean.Full Answer >
While the seas of the world are technically all connected into one global ocean, they are commonly divided geographically into five main oceans. These are the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Antarctic Oceans.Full Answer >
Although temperatures vary across both oceans, the Atlantic ocean is warmer on average, sometimes by as much as 16 degrees Fahrenheit at a given latitude. This is due to a number of factors, such as it being shallower, smaller and narrower than the Pacific ocean.Full Answer >
The original four oceans are the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian and Arctic; however, the International Hydrographic Organization recognized the Southern Ocean as the fifth ocean on Earth in the spring of 2000.Full Answer >