The ocean is the body of salt water that covers approximately 70.8% of the surface of Earth and contains 97% of Earth's water. An ocean can also refer to any of the large bodies of water into which the world ocean is conventionally divided. Separate names are used to identify five different areas of the ocean: Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, Antarctic/Southern, and Arctic. Seawater covers approximately 361,000,000 km² of the planet. The ocean is the principal component of Earth's hydrosphere, and therefore integral to life on Earth. Acting as a huge heat reservoir, the ocean influences climate and weather patterns, the carbon cycle, and the water cycle. Oceanographers divide the ocean into different vertical and horizontal zones based on physical and biological conditions. The pelagic zone consists of the water column from surface to ocean floor throughout the open ocean. The water column is further categorized in other zones depending on depth and on how much light is present.

Read more in the app

Ocean spray emits more PFAS than industrial polluters, study finds

Marine microbial populations: Potential sensors of the global change in the ocean

Cataloging the complexity of the ocean genome - EurekAlert

Mysterious Fossil Fragments Traced to Ancient Leviathans of The Ocean

The Ocean Touches Everything: Celebrate Earth Day with NASA

NASA’s PACE Data on Ocean, Atmosphere, Climate Now Available

Unlocking the Ocean’s Secrets With Four Decades of Canned Salmon

Startups aim to curb climate change by pulling carbon dioxide from the ocean—not the air

There are large accumulations of plastics in the ocean, even outside so-called garbage patch

Every 2.4 Million Years, Mars Does Something Unexpected to Our Ocean's Depths

Eerie New Worm Species Found Slithering in Ocean's Darkest Depths

Sinking plankton poo could help store more carbon in the ocean

Ocean’s SOS: The Looming Threat of Deoxygenation on Marine Life

Making wastewater less acidic could help the ocean capture more carbon

Viruses Amplify Ocean’s Carbon Capture Capacity

Cold water thrown on hope of life in ocean of Saturn's icy moon Titan

Searching for clues in the history book of the ocean

Saturn’s “Death Star Moon” Mimas Probably has an Ocean Too

Greenland Is Literally Rising From The Ocean as It Loses Its Fringe of Glaciers

NASA Launches New Climate Mission to Study Ocean, Atmosphere