Blog: Carlita the Croc

Why do Chicagoans Need an Ocean

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Have you ever been to the ocean? I haven’t. I’m more of a freshwater kinda gal.  From what I gather, Chicagoans are too.  Not a whole lot of people in Chicagoland think about the ocean, unless they are planning to visit it on vacation. Up here, we’re all about the freshwater – Lake Michigan to be specific.  But we freshwater folk should be thinking about the ocean more often, and not just because it’s World Oceans Month!

Why? Cuz it’s kind of a big deal.  Especially for this whole life-on-Earth thing we’ve got going.  Even if you don’t live near an ocean, or have never seen one, your life is affected by it.

Take a deep breath
Did that feel good? You can thank an ocean. It’s actually tiny plants that live in the ocean, phytoplankton, that produce the oxygen.  Between 50-85% of oxygen you and I breathe comes from those little plants. Even the water and animals that live in the ocean itself needs oxygen.   A recent report shows that as the ocean warms, it is losing oxygen. The relationship between oceans and climate change is ever intertwined.

Phytoplankton-PD_937x631.jpg

Surf and turf
Whether or not you’re a seafood lover, chances are some of your food depends on the ocean.  As mentioned before, even if you don’t eat seafood some of your food, like cattle and poultry, might. Vegetarians and vegans may even benefit from “seafood” if the fruits and veggies you eat are fertilized with fishmeal or kelp/seaweed fertilizer.

Fish and shellfish aren’t the only foods the ocean provides to us or to our food. Of course we can’t forget about seaweed and kelp food products. Seaweed bacon, anyone?

“A mild winter…”
Remember when I said “The relationship between oceans and climate change is ever intertwined?” Well here’s another way they are connected – the ocean is like the heart of climate. It circulates heat and moisture all over the world, just like the heart pumps warm and nutrient blood all over the body. The heat and moisture (a.k.a. rain) that the ocean and its “veins,” or currents, drop off on land are responsible for the climates of different regions. If you’ve heard of “El Niño,” then you’ve heard how changes in the temperature of the ocean affects typical Chicago climate.

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Chart by Dr. Michael Pidwirny 

Now, I don’t know about you, but I think about food, air, and my climatic comfort every day. (It’s pretty important to me, being exothermic and all!)  Tweet or Insta me @CandidCroc and tell me, do you think of the ocean every day?  

Posted: 6/19/2017 4:31:38 PM by Oksana Schak | with 0 comments


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Carlita the Croc

I'm Carlita the Croc, here to deliver my candid views on various topics, articles, news, and stories in conservation. For the latest news follow me on Twitter, for striking photos follow me on Instagram.

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