When you think about it, we know more about the surface of the Moon and planets like Mars than we know about the very ocean floor of our planet. There is an obvious disbalance between the efforts put into exploring space, and the solar system, and the oceans and ocean floor on our home planet.
Despite this, efforts are made, and a new report from Seabed 2030–a collaborative project between the Nippon Foundation of Japan and the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) which aims to bring together all available bathymetric data to produce the definitive map of the world ocean floor by 2030– has revealed that experts have successfully mapped nearly a fifth of our planet’s ocean floor, which means we have made quite the progress in understanding the secret of the ocean floor.
The new report revealed that roughly a fifth of the world’s ocean floor has already been mapped with modern standards, after the incorporation of 14.5 million square kilometers by the Nippon-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Foundation Project.
Cartographic coverage of the seabed increased from 15% to 19% in the twelve months.
When Seabed 2030 launched in 2017, only six percent of the oceans had been mapped according to modern standards.
The attempt to create the map of the world’s oceans has gained significant momentum since its launch of Seabed 2030, which aims to facilitate the full mapping of the global ocean floor by 2030, bringing together more than 100 international organizations in support.
According to the project’s website, Seabed 2030 now has 133 official partners, contributors, as well as different supporters, and continues to seek new collaborations in data collection and technical innovation.
“The sustained increase in data available to map the ocean floor will enable Seabed 2030 to play a principal role in producing a comprehensive set of reliable data that is freely available for all to use. This is a leap forward towards achieving our mission, by the year 2030, to empower the world to make policy decisions, use the ocean sustainability and undertake scientific research based on detailed bathymetric information of the Earth’s seabed,” Seabed 2030 Project Director Jamie McMichael-Phillips revealed in a statement.
“It’s inspiring to see what working collaboratively, across the globe, can achieve. Seabed 2030 will continue to seek out new partnerships and technological advancements. Everyone has a part to play in contributing to our ocean mapping journey: a journey that will greatly benefit humanity,” he added.
Nippon Foundation President Yohei Sasakawa recently announced three initiatives that need an increased collaborative activity to accelerate the mapping of the ocean floor, including supporting mapping of unexplored regions, gathering data through crowdsourcing, and developing technology that will aid the process of data collection.
Seabed 2030 continues to act as an incentive for unparalleled growth in available bathymetric data.
A complete ocean map of the world will facilitate a better understanding of fundamental processes, including ocean circulation, climate systems, rising sea levels, propagation of tsunami waves, tides, sediment transport, distribution of benthic habitat, and climate change.
“My thanks go out to all who have contributed data and technical expertise to bring together this new 2020 Grid. With the support of governments, industry, academia, and philanthropy, and by using innovative technology, we anticipate the availability of new data to grow on a yearly basis,” said Jamie McMichael-Phillips.