Objective: To learn about the Chemical and Physical Properties of the Ocean and their Role in Governing Oceanic Processes
"It is estimated that of the 332,500,000 cubic miles (mi3) (1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers (km3)) of the world's water supply, about 321,000,000 mi3 (1,338,000,000 km3) is stored in oceans. That is about 96.5 percent of the total volume on the planet. It is also estimated that the oceans supply about 90 percent of the evaporated water that goes into the water cycle.
The volume of water in the ocean varies, just a little bit, over time due to the waxing and waning of the polar ice caps and continental glaciers as a result of climate change.
During colder climatic periods more ice caps and glaciers form, and enough of the global water supply accumulates as ice to lessen the amounts in other parts of the water cycle. During the last ice age glaciers covered almost one-third of Earth's land mass, with the result being that the oceans were about 400 feet (122 meters) lower than today. During the last global "warm spell," about 125,000 years ago, the seas were about 18 feet (5.5. meters) higher than they are now. About three million years ago the oceans could have been up to 165 feet (50 meters) higher."