One Ocean

It is often thought that there are five oceans: the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic and Southern (Antarctic)

In reality they are all connected by a continuous circulation of currents around the world, creating one single continuous body of water, a global ocean.

Earth’s ocean currents – view an interactive globe (click image)

This ONE ocean plays a vital role in regulating and sustaining our planet. For example, did you know that around half the oxygen we breathe comes from the ocean?

With declining ocean health, our future is in the balance. Biodiversity loss, pollution and climate change are all affecting our marine environment in ways we are only beginning to understand. We need to act now if we are to truly understand the full impact before it is too late.

We do everything we can to deepen our world’s understanding of our ocean, including the currents that connect it.

Surface ocean currents are driven by the winds, transporting heat from the equator towards the poles, releasing heat and moisture into the atmosphere along the way.

When the warm water reaches the north and meets the colder water, it forces the cold water to sink to the ocean depths where it travels back towards the equator. This system of surface and deep currents acts like a giant conveyor belt that transports heat, salt, nutrients and dissolved gases, around the world’s oceans.

This global conveyor has a strong influence on our planet. For example, it interacts with the global carbon cycle to remove carbon dioxide from the air and store it in the deep ocean. Around 25% of the carbon dioxide humans produced gets absorbed in the ocean. This is just one way in which our ocean impacts our world.

As the UK’s leading ocean science charity, we work to advance ocean and climate research, deliver pioneering solutions, and educate future generations, all to help our ocean thrive.

You can be a part of this vital work by pledging to protect our ocean today and in the future.

Dive in and support ocean recovery

Clownfish among predominantly blue anenomes
Jellyfish in a dark background
Clownfish among predominantly orange anenomes


Request your One Ocean poster by post. Complete the form below.

If you have any difficulties making a donation, or requesting the poster, please contact Sam Thomas on +44 (0)23 8059 9666 or email