Ocean News: My Perspective


I see a lot of news about the ocean. News about the peril of it's condition. News about amazing discoveries. In the past few days, I've seen a number of seemingly unrelated posts:

First, on March 8th the NYT reports on James Cameron's attempt to dive down to the Mariana Trench.

Then, on March 9th the WSJ reports on Liquid Robotics Wave Gliders and provides some incredible stats about ocean exploration:

The ocean is 71% of the planet. It produces 75% of our oxygen, and eight out of 10 people live within 60 miles of it. Still, we know nearly nothing about our watery world. Right now there are only 1,500 data-sensing buoys floating on all the oceans. That is one data point for each stretch of water the size of California. Less than 10% of the oceans have been mapped.

The same day, the NYT editorial referred to an ocean acidification study in Science and said "the oceans may be turning acid far faster than at any time in the past 300 million years."

The reports don't seem related but, to me, tell us everything we need to know:

  1. We need to start caring a LOT more about what happens to the ocean.
  2. In order to do that, we need to understand it a lot better.
  3. There's money and influence, but not political will or general interest.
  4. We need more robots!