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What's cool about Cool Seas?

Cool Seas are special because each one is home to marine life found nowhere else on the planet.

Each cool sea is different, but they all have two things in common: water temperature (its cool!) and amazing marine life.

Our oceans form five different temperature or climate zones around the world - these temperature zones have a large influence on the types of marine life found in any given location.

  • Subtropical (15 to 27C)
  • Tropical (25 to 31 C)
  • Subpolar (5 to 10 C)
  • Polar (-2 to 5 C)

Cool Water (also known as "Temperate") (10 to 25 C)

In the northern hemisphere, temperate marine environments can be found from western Europe and the Mediterranean to north-eastern Asia, as well as around northern America. In the southern hemisphere, cool waters cradle three of the four southern continents: Africa, South America and Australia.

Click on this map of global sea surface temperature to see an enlarged version with explanatory text.

Because they have a number of characteristics in common, temperate marine environments around the world have a number of similarities. However, there is enough variation between different temperate marine environments to make each patch of cool water very special in its own unique way.

 Temperate marine environments are special because:

  • They supply most of the world's seafood
  • They show remarkable biodiversity
  • Their inhabitants are highly endemic
  • They are important parts of global ecological links

Photo by Steve Frlan

Seahorse, Australia.  23K   Courtesy of Steve Frlan.

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