The last great exploration of the true unknown on earth is underway, with the Marine Institute in Galway leading efforts to map the ocean floor.
To date, less that five percent of the ocean floor has been been mapped. since they cover more than 70% of the earth’s surface, we know more about the cartography of other worlds than our own planet.
To put that in perspective, twelve people have walked on the moon, but only three have ever gone to the deepest part of the ocean in the Mariana Trench’s Challenger Deep.
The Atlantic Ocean Research Alliance, led by researchers at the Marine Institute, is creating an Atlantic Ocean Map than aims to make our freezing pond the best understood ocean on earth.
Already, expeditions by the Celtic Explorer have discovered previously unknown underseas volcanoes and mountains on the ocean floor.
More complete deep sea mapping will fundamentally improve our understanding of how the oceans behave and help predict weather patterns and climate change trends, the organisation claims.
Beyond just mapping, the AORA-Coordination and Support Action aims to promote a healthier ocean, find more sustainable ways to use its resources, and increase people’s awareness and literacy surrounding the ocean.
The AORA-CSA is being led by the Marine Institute’s Dr. Margaret Rae (Director) and Dr. Peter Heffernan (Overall coordinator).
This project is a collaboration between the EU, Canada, and United States to ensure to that our shared ocean is:
“Healthy, resilient safe, productive, understood and treasured so as to promote the well-being, prosperity and security of present and future generations.”
Other measures being taken under AORA-CSA include Ocean Observation, the more date we have the more informed our actions will be, encouraging sustainable fishing practices for a resource that feeds 3 billion people, protecting ocean habitats, and informing the public about how the ocean touches their lives and we affect it in turn.
To held with these efforts the project is launching a new website atlanticresource.org that tells you everything about these related goals in easy to understand ways.
A social media campaign is also being launched to promote their projects across a wide European audience, particularly targeting coastal communities.