mapping tagged posts

One-fifth of Earth’s ocean floor is now mapped

The black is where we still need modern measurements at a reasonable resolution

We’ve just become a little less ignorant about Planet Earth. The initiative that seeks to galvanise the creation of a full map of the ocean floor says one-fifth of this task has now been completed. When the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project was launched in 2017, only 6% of the global ocean bottom had been surveyed to what might be called modern standards.

That number now stands at 19%, up from 15% in just the last year. Some 14.5 million sq km of new bathymetric (depth) data was included in the GEBCO grid in 2019 – an area equivalent to almost twice that of Australia.

It does, however, still leave a great swathe of the planet in need of mapping to an acceptable degree.

“Today we stand at the 19% level...

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Coral mappers reach Caribbean waters

Caribbean coral

Coral reefs teem with a diverse array of life and colour, but in many places around the world, their future is uncertain. The Caribbean, where this vibrant moray eel was shot by an advance party for the mappers, is having a particularly bad time of it. Over the past 50 years, 80 per cent of the coral reef cover there has been lost to a perfect storm of pollution, overfishing, rising temperatures and ocean acidification. Researchers worry that others could soon be in a similar state.

More detailed, comparable information on how reefs are faring around the world is vital if we are going to be able to protect them.

One group attempting to do this is the Catlin Seaview Survey...

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