Waves crashing against cliffs

Oceans cover about 71% of the Earth's surface and are immeasurably important to all life on the planet. Oceans play an important role in regulating the climate.

One example of how the oceans affect our world can be found in the Gulf Stream, an Atlantic Ocean current that brings warm water from south of the equator through tropical waters to areas of Europe, including the United Kingdom. The warm water in the current warms the air. Without the Gulf Stream, temperatures in the UK would be significantly colder.

Oceans are also an important part of the carbon cycle, which helps to regulate the amount of carbon bearing greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, that enter the atmosphere. Scientists investigating climate change want to better understand the oceans' ability to absorb carbon dioxide.

Image: Waves crash against the cliffs at Land's End, Cornwall, England

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Waves crashing against cliffs Oceans

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Oceans

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