# what percent of the world’s water is in the pacific ocean

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## How much water is in the ocean?

It’s hard to imagine, but about 97 percent of the Earth’s water can be found in our ocean. Of the tiny percentage that’s not in the ocean, about two percent is frozen up in glaciers and ice caps. Less than one percent of all the water on Earth is fresh. A tiny fraction of water exists as water vapor in our atmosphere.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there are over 332,519,000 cubic miles of water on the planet. A cubic mile is the volume of a cube measuring one mile on each side. Of this vast volume of water, NOAA’s National Geophysical Data Center estimates that 321,003,271 cubic miles is in the ocean.

That’s enough water to fill about 352,670,000,000,000,000,000 gallon-sized milk containers!

OCEAN GEOGRAPHY

• There are 328,000,000 cubic miles of seawater on earth, covering approximately 71 percent of earth’s surface.

• By volume, the ocean makes up 99 percent of the planet’s living space- the largest space in our universe known to be inhabited by living organisms.

• About 97 percent of all water on earth is in our oceans, 2 percent is frozen in our ice caps and glaciers, less than 0.3 percent is carried in the atmosphere in the form of clouds, rain, and snow. All of our inland seas, lakes and channels combined add up to only 0.02 percent of earth’s water.
• The Antarctic Ice Sheet is almost twice the size of the United States.
• Earth’s ocean is made up of more than 20 seas and four oceans: Atlantic, Indian, Arctic, and Pacific, the oldest and the largest.
• The ocean accounts for 0.022 percent of the total weight of earth, weighing an estimated 1,450,000,000,000,000,000 short tons (1 short ton = 2,000lbs).
• The average worldwide ocean depth is about 12,460 feet (3,798 meters), with the deepest point of 36,198 feet (11,033 meters) which is located in the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean; the tallest mountain, Mount Everest, measures 29,022 feet (8,846 meters). If Mount Everest were to be placed into the Mariana Trench it would be covered with sea water more than a mile (1.5 km ) deep.
• Although Mount Everest is often called the tallest mountain on Earth, Mauna Kea, an inactive volcano on the island of Hawaii, is actually taller. Only 13,796 feet of Mauna Kea stands above sea level, yet it is 33,465 feet tall if measured from the ocean floor to its summit
• A slow cascade of water beneath the Denmark Strait sinks 2.2 miles; more than 3.5 times farther than Venezuela’s Angel Falls, the tallest waterfall on land.
• Earth’s largest continuous mountain chain is the Mid-Ocean Ridge, stretching for 40,000 miles, rising above the surface of the water in a few places, such as Iceland. It is four times longer than the Andes, Rocky Mountains, and Himalayas combined.
• Ninety percent of all volcanic activity occurs in the oceans. In 1993, scientists located the largest known concentration of active volcanoes on the sea floor in the South Pacific. This area, the size of New York State, hosts 1,133 volcanic cones and seamounts. Two or three could erupt at any moment.
• The highest tides in the world are at the Bay of Fundy, which separates New Brunswick from Nova Scotia. At some times of the year the difference between high and low tide is 53 feet 6 inches, the equivalent of a five-story building.
• Canada has the longest coastline of any country, at 56,453 miles or around 15 percent of the world’s 372,384 miles of coastlines.
• In 1958, the United States Coast Guard icebreaker East Wind measured the world’s tallest known iceberg off western Greenland. At 550 feet it was only 5 feet 6 inches shorter than the Washington Monument in Washington, D.C.
• The volume of the Earth’s moon is the same as the volume of the Pacific Ocean.

THE WEATHER MAKER

• The ocean determines climate and plays a critical role in Earth’s habitability. Most of the solar energy that reaches the Earth is stored in the ocean and helps power oceanic and atmospheric circulation. In this manner, the ocean plays an important role in influencing the weather and climatic patterns of the Earth.
• Two hundred million years of recorded geologic and biologic history of the Earth are found in the ocean’s floor. By studying ocean sediments, scientists can learn about ancient climate, how it changed, and how better to predict our own climate.
• The top 10 feet of the ocean hold the same amount of thermal energy as exists in the entire atmosphere.
• El NiZo, a periodic shift of warm waters from the western to eastern Pacific Ocean, has dramatic effects on climate worldwide. In 1997-1998, the most severe El NiZo of the century created droughts, crop failures, fires, torrential rains, floods, landslides–total damages were estimated at more than \$90 billion (United Nations)
• Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances cause tsunamis, or great waves. The largest recorded tsunami measured 210 feet above sea level when it reached Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1737.

## Water, Water, Everywhere

Water is practically everywhere on Earth. Moreover, it is the only known substance that can naturally exist as a gas, a liquid, and solid within the relatively small range of air temperatures and pressures found at the Earth’s surface.

## THE WEATHER MAKER

The ocean determines climate and plays a critical role in Earth’s habitability. Most of the solar energy that reaches the Earth is stored in the ocean and helps power oceanic and atmospheric circulation. In this manner, the ocean plays an important role in influencing the weather and climatic patterns of the Earth.

Two hundred million years of recorded geologic and biologic history of the Earth are found in the ocean’s floor. By studying ocean sediments, scientists can learn about ancient climate, how it changed, and how better to predict our own climate.

The top 10 feet of the ocean hold the same amount of thermal energy as exists in the entire atmosphere.

El NiZo, a periodic shift of warm waters from the western to eastern Pacific Ocean, has dramatic effects on climate worldwide. In 1997-1998, the most severe El NiZo of the century created droughts, crop failures, fires, torrential rains, floods, landslides–total damages were estimated at more than \$90 billion (United Nations)

Undersea earthquakes and other disturbances cause tsunamis, or great waves. The largest recorded tsunami measured 210 feet above sea level when it reached Siberia’s Kamchatka Peninsula in 1737.

## OUR USE OF THE OCEAN

Substances from marine plants and animals are used in scores of products, including medicine, ice cream, toothpaste, fertilizers, gasoline, cosmetics, and livestock feed.
Examine the foods in your own kitchen and you may find the terms “alginate” and “carrageenan” on the labels. Carrageenans are compounds extracted from red algae that are used to stabilize and jell foods and pharmaceuticals. Brown algae contain alginates that make foods thicker and creamier and add to shelf life. They are used to prevent ice crystals from forming in ice cream. Alginates and carrageenans are often used in puddings, milkshakes, and ice cream. The commonly used color additive beta-carotene often comes from green algae as well as many vegetables, including carrots. Many people don’t realize that kelp is harvested like wheat; a substance called algin is extracted and is used in lipstick, toothpaste and ice cream. You might be wearing kelp right now, since it is used in the dyes that color our clothes.
Oils from the orange roughy, Hoplostethus atlanticus, a deep-sea fish from New Zealand, are used in making shampoo.
The remains of diatoms, algae with hard shells, are used in making pet litter, cosmetics, pool filters and tooth polish.
The ocean holds immense quantities of protein. The total annual commercial harvest from the seas exceeds 85 million metric tons. Fish is the biggest source of wild or domestic protein in the world.
Since the architecture and chemistry of coral are very close to human bone, coral has been used to replace bone grafts in helping human bones to heal quickly and cleanly.
Horseshoe crabs have existed in essentially the same form for the past 135 million years. Their blood provides a valuable test for the toxins that cause septic shock, which previously led to half of all hospital-acquired infections and one-fifth of all hospital deaths.
Over 90 percent of trade among countries is carried by ships.
The ocean is a source of mineral deposits, including oil and gas.
About half the communications between nations are via underwater cables.
Many nations’ battles have been fought on or under the water.
Knowing oceanography can enhance the conditions for trade, communications, and defense.

## Ocean

The ocean is a huge body of saltwater that covers about 71 percent of the Earth’s surface. The planet has one global ocean, though oceanographers and the nations of the world have divided it into distinct geographic regions: the Pacific, Atlantic, Indian, and Arctic oceans. In recent years, some oceanographers have determined that the seas around Antarctica deserve their own designation: the Southern Ocean.

## Ocean Waves

Though the oceans cover more than 70 percent of Earth, only 20 percent is visible to us. So we are usually only able to see the water at the surface, not most of it, the other 80 percent, below.

## Pacific Ocean

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth’s oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean (or, depending on definition, to Antarctica) in the south and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

At 165,250,000 square kilometers (63,800,000 square miles) in the area (as defined with a southern Antarctic border), this largest division of the World Ocean—and, in turn, the hydrosphere—covers about 46% of Earth’s water surface and about 32% of its total surface area, making it larger than all of Earth’s land area combined (148,000,000 square kilometers).[1] The centers of both the Water Hemisphere and the Western Hemisphere are in the Pacific Ocean. Ocean circulation (caused by the Coriolis effect) subdivides it[citation needed] into two largely independent volumes of water, which meet at the equator: the North(ern) Pacific Ocean and South(ern) Pacific Ocean. The Galápagos and Gilbert Islands, while straddling the equator, are deemed wholly within the South Pacific.[2]

Its mean depth is 4,000 meters (13,000 feet).[3] Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench, located in the western north Pacific, is the deepest point in the world, reaching a depth of 10,928 meters (35,853 feet).[4] The Pacific also contains the deepest point in the Southern Hemisphere, the Horizon Deep in the Tonga Trench, at 10,823 meters (35,509 feet).[5] The third deepest point on Earth, the Sirena Deep, is also located in the Mariana Trench.

The western Pacific has many major marginal seas, including the South China Sea, the East China Sea, the Sea of Japan, the Sea of Okhotsk, the Philippine Sea, the Coral Sea, and the Tasman Sea.