The oceans of the Earth can exist without us. If we humans become extinct, they won’t even notice we’re gone. We, however, simply cannot exist without our oceans. We need them. They are the primary life support system on Earth, the lungs, climate regulator, and ultimate food factory — connected deeply to each of us and nearly every economic activity that makes our world go round.

For those old enough to remember — and for the young and curious, too — you may know “Earthrise,” the iconic photograph taken on 24 December, 1968 by a 35-year-old American astronaut and engineer named William Anders as he looked through a small, frosty window of Apollo 8, the first spacecraft to leave Earth’s gravity and orbit the moon.

From 380,000km away, our spectacular planet appeared as a vulnerable, mostly blue sphere, vividly illustrating their size and importance — they cover some 70% of the Earth with an average depth of four kilometers.

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