Belfast Telegraph Love to Learn: All about water, Week 3
This article has been specially written for thousands of pupils from across Northern Ireland who are doing the Belfast Telegraph cross-curricular project themed on water. Over a six-week period we are focusing on oceans around the world, rivers across Northern Ireland and the threats to water.
The Atlantic Ocean covers roughly 20% of the Earth's surface and with a total area of around 41,100,000 square miles is the second biggest ocean in the world.
It is almost 6.5 times bigger than the United States, borders North America, South America, Europe and Africa and is believed to have been formed during the Jurassic period. The equator subdivides it into the North Atlantic Ocean and South Atlantic Ocean.
A whole host of creatures live in the Atlantic Ocean including the humpback whale, sea lion, starfish, catfish, penguins, the green sea turtle, the grey Atlantic seal as well as various sharks and fish.
It is home to one of Earth's longest mountain ranges - the Mid Atlantic Ridge which is 24,855 miles long by 990 miles wide and mostly submerged below sea level.
The second largest barrier reef in the world called the Cancun Reef, which is off the coast of Mexico, is in the second biggest Ocean.
The Bermuda Triangle, well known for the mystery disappearance of several airplanes and ships, is also located in the Atlantic as is Greenland, the largest island in the world and it is said that diamonds can be found in the sea bed off the coast of southern Africa.
The Atlantic Ocean borders or feeds many seas, one of which is the Irish Sea. If you want to go to America from Northern Ireland, the quickest way is to fly over the Atlantic Ocean, which was the first ocean to be crossed by an airplane. The first woman to fly solo over the Atlantic was the renowned American aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart in 1928.
In 1912, the famous ship called the Titanic, which was built in Belfast in Northern Ireland, sunk after hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic while on its maiden voyage to America.
The River Erne is the second longest river in Ulster and over the years has been hugely popular for those wanting to fish for trout and salmon.
It rises in County Cavan, flowing through Lough Gowna and Upper and Lower Lough Erne in Fermanagh through to Ballyshannon in County Donegal, therefore it is located in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Enniskillen Castle is situated on the banks of the River Erne. The castle was built in the early 15th century by the Maguire Chieftains who ruled Fermanagh at the time and is now home to the county museum.
The River Erne is enjoyed by tourists and locals alike for cruises and is considered one of County Fermanagh's most appealing attractions.
Air pollution causes acid rain which can be harmful.
It comes about when rainwater picks up particles and gases as it falls through the air. If the air is polluted then rainwater can become polluted too.
Polluted rain is known as acid rain. When it falls on living things such as animals or plants it can harm or kill them because leaves which are burned by acid rain can't make oxygen or collect carbon dioxide needed for photosynthesis.
Acid rain can have an awful and dramatic impact on forests, taking away important minerals from the leaves and the soil. Norway is one country that has been badly affected, with forests and fish in nearby waters harmed.
My Favourite Water Pastime
Name: Thomas Duff
School: Ballywalter Primary School, Co Down
Whenever I was a younger boy I used to love going to my caravan beside the seaside. On a nice hot summer day I would go into the sea for a swim. I always wore a wetsuit because the water was cold. It was even worse if you got salt in your eyes. The salt water used to sting like mad.
In August time of the year we had to watch out for the jelly fish. Occasionally, the little tiny shrimps would tickle my toes as they swam by.
Sometimes my friend's dad would bring his jet ski into the sea and take me for a ride too. The spray of the water would splash all over us. That was only the start of the fun because when I got my dry clothes back on we would have water fights. We would fill our large water guns and blast each other. Sometimes it hurt if you got blasted up close.
My favourite was the water balloons. Mum would shout now and again about the mess of the balloons lying around. We were too busy enjoying ourselves to pick them up. So yes, when mum came out shouting we threw a water balloon at her!