seas of life part 2

THE SHEER PHYSICAL POWER OF THE OCEAN DOMINATES OUR PLANET. IT PROFOUNDLY INFLUENCES THE WEATHER OF ALL THE WORLD.

WATER VAPOR RISING FROM IT FORMS THE CLOUDS AND GENERATES STORMS THAT ULTIMATELY WILL DRENCH THE LAND. THE GREAT WAVES THAT ROAR IN TOWARDS THE SHORES ARE DRAMATIC DEMONSTRATIONS OF IT’S POWER. WAVES ORIGINATE FAR OUT AT SEA. THERE , EVEN GENTLE BREEZES CAN CAUSE RIPPLES, AND RIPPLES GROW INTO SWELLS. OUT IN THE OPEN OCEAN , UNIMPEDED BY LAND, SUCH SWELLS CAN BECOME GIGANTIC. IT’S ONLY WHEN AN OCEAN SWELL EVENTUALLY REACHES SHALLOW WATER THAT IT’S STARTS TO BREAK.

AS IT APPROACHES THE COAST THE WATER AT THE BOTTOM OF THE SWELL IS SLOWED BY CONTACT WITH THE SEABED. THE TOP OF THE SWELL STILL TRAVELING FAST.STARTS TO ROLL OVER AND SO THE WAVE BREAKS.

THE OCEAN NEVER RESTS. HUGE CURRENTS, SUCH AS THE GULF STREAM, KEEP IT’S WATER CONSTANTLY ON THE MOVE ALL’ROUND THE GLOBE. IT’S THESE CURRENTS MORE THAN ANY OTHER FACTOR THAT CONTROL THE DISTRIBUTION OF NUTRIENTS AND LIFE IN THE SEAS.

A TINY ISLAND LOST IN THE MIDST OF THE PACIFIC. IT’S THE TIP OF A HUGE MOUNTAIN THAT RISES PRECIPITOUSLY FROM THE SEAFLOOR THOUSANDS OF METERS BELOW. THE NEAREST LAND IS 300 MILES AWAY. ISOLATED SEA MOUNTS LIKE THIS ONE CREATE OASES WHERE LIFE CAN FLOURISH IN THE COMPARATIVELY EMPTY EXPANSES OF THE OPEN OCEAN. BUT ALL THE CREATURES THAT SWIM BESIDE IT WOULD NOT BE HERE WERE IT NOT FOR ONE KEY FACTOR….. THE DEEP OCEAN CURRENTS.

FAR BELOW THE SURFACE, THEY COLLIDE WITH ISLAND’S FLANKS AND ARE DEFLECTED UPWARDS, BRINGING WITH THEM FROM THE DEPTHS A RICH SOUP OF NUTRIENTS.