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Author Topic: What good does a wave do for the ocean?  (Read 3447 times)

Offline einsteinium252

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What good does a wave do for the ocean?
« on: 29/07/2008 20:32:33 »
One day when I was at the beach I wondered what purpose waves might have in the ocean.  Because almost everything in this world benefits someone or thing in some way, if you look at it in enough depth.

A few ideas I had were:
     1. Maybe the churning of the waves oxidizes the water for the fish, kind of like an aerator for a fish tank.  Also, maybe the foam on the water (which I think is a hardened protein from fish waste) helps to clean out the water.


 

Offline chris

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What good does a wave do for the ocean?
« Reply #1 on: 03/08/2008 13:17:33 »
Well, waves crashing up beaches cause erosion, which helps to add material to the sea which can nourish the coastal waters. Waves do also stir up sediments, providing food for various species and, as you say, they also have to oxygenate water.

Apart from that I'm not sure I can think of much else.

Chris
 

Offline einsteinium252

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What good does a wave do for the ocean?
« Reply #2 on: 04/08/2008 03:50:40 »
Chris,

Good point about the sediments, I didn't think about that aspect.  Without wave motion the waters would probably be too stagnant to really feed an ecosystem as large as the ocean.
 

lyner

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What good does a wave do for the ocean?
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2008 10:08:41 »
Waves, and everything else, have effects  but why do yo assume that they must have a purpose?

When you say that you can always find something which 'benefits' from a natural phenomenon you don't have to interpret it that way round. You only need to understand that evolution tends to produce species that make use of anything handy and find a 'niche' somewhere.

You would find it very difficult to produce an ocean that didn't have waves on it. The Sun's Energy produces heating which produces convection of air and that moving air produces waves on the surface of water. The result is that the sea contains more dissolved gases than it would if there were no waves. It produces erosion etc etc.

You could also say that the tides were 'invented' so we could go fishing at the appropriate time.  You would have to say that the Moon was put there to make the tides happen.
There are many instances where. Looking at a situation in a different way often gives a much simpler explanation which doesn't involve the notion of Purpose. That's what Science is all about.
Science is 'reductionist'.
 

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What good does a wave do for the ocean?
« Reply #3 on: 04/08/2008 10:08:41 »

 

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