Oceans of the world
There are five oceans that cover just over 70% of our planet, and they are all connected together:
- the Atlantic Ocean
- the Pacific Ocean
- the Indian Ocean
- the Southern Ocean
- the Arctic Ocean
The nearest ocean to the UK is the Atlantic Ocean. It stretches from Europe to North and South America, and is the second largest of the five oceans.
What are ocean currents?
The water in the oceans is constantly moving in patterns called currents. Some currents flow quickly, while some move very slowly. As the currents flow around the planet they move cold and warm water from one place to another, changing climate and temperatures all over the world. The UK would be much colder if it wasn’t warmed by water that travels from the Caribbean - called the North Atlantic Drift.
The ocean currents also help move anything that floats in them. This can be sea creatures or ships, but unfortunately can also be rubbish that has been dumped carelessly by people. This rubbish finds its way around the world, pollutes the oceans and can be harmful to sea creatures. Some kinds of rubbish, such as plastic are eaten by sea creatures. This causes them lots of problems and can even kill them.
We need to look after our planet by recycling and reducing the plastics we use.