Oceans are large water bodies spread out all over the world and according to some estimates may cover approximately 70% of the total earth's surface. In the modern era, the term hemisphere is used to describe one of the four regions in the world that are created by the main line of longitude (the Prime Meridian) and the main line of latitude (the equator). The Prime Meridian, also commonly referred to as the Greenwich Meridian, splits the world into two distinct sections, the eastern and western halves. The equator, on the other hand, also splits the world into two, the northern and southern halves. Due to their massive size, most oceans are located in more than one hemisphere. Only two of the world's five oceans have territory in all four hemispheres, the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean.
Territory of the Pacific Ocean
In the northern hemisphere of the world, the Pacific Ocean covers vast amounts of territory and is commonly known as the North Pacific Ocean. In this section, the Pacific Ocean borders the eastern coast of Asia as well as the western coast of North America, Central America, and the very top of South America. Some of the marginal seas of the North Pacific Ocean include the Bering Sea, the Salish Sea, and the Gulf of California in the Western Hemisphere and the Sea of Japan and the Philippine Sea in the Eastern Hemisphere.
In the region south of the equator or the Southern Hemisphere, the Pacific Ocean is commonly referred to as the South Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Ocean borders the majority of the western coast of South America as well as many of the islands of Oceania including Australia, Papua New Guinea, and New Zealand. The southern portion of the ocean, particularly in the eastern region, happens to be one of its most historic sections. Historical evidence indicates that a number of the communities that lived in Oceania and Asia regularly traveled along its waters for long periods that stretch back to the prehistoric era. Vasco Núñez de Balboa, an explorer from Spain, holds the distinction of being the first person of European descent to spot the eastern section of the Pacific Ocean.
Territory of the Atlantic Ocean
According to information from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Atlantic Ocean spans an area of roughly 41,100,000 square miles. Only a small portion of this area is situated in the Eastern Hemisphere including the parts of Europe and Western Africa. This section includes some of its most prominent marginal seas such as the Baltic Sea.
Much of the territory of the Atlantic Ocean is situated in the Western Hemisphere. The ocean bordered the eastern coast of North America, Central America, and the top of South America and includes the Labrador Sea, Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. There are several ports located in this section, and some of the most famous are Saint John, Quebec City, and San Juan.
In the Southern Hemisphere, the Atlantic Ocean borders the eastern coast of South America and the western coast of Africa.
The Impact of Climate Change on the Oceans
Several scientists believe that due to climate change the level of water in the oceans could increase significantly. The increased amount of water could cause floods along the coastlines resulting in massive damages.