Ensia talks why we MUST protect 600,000 square miles that most people will never see!

WRITERJenny Woodman 

@JennyWoodman

Science writer and educator

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus.  All that which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary.  That’s about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

Photo Courtesy from Ensia and Rick Starr, CBNMS

October 3, 2017 — Much of what lay beneath the ship was a mystery. The edge of the continental shelf plummets more than 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) somewhere in the vicinity of oceanographer Robert Ballard’s Exploration Vessel (E/V) Nautilus, which was making its way to Cordell Bank National Marine Sanctuary, about 60 miles (97 kilometers) northwest of San Francisco.

They say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth — some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water, and water disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles), meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

The E/V Nautilus offers scientists, educators and others a chance to learn and share stories about marine ecosystems. Photo courtesy of OET/Nautilus Live

In addition, the 211-foot (64-meter) ship left port at 9 a.m. on August 6 on a nine-day mapping and exploration expedition with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).  All to help resolve some of that mystery by sending remotely operated vehicles, or ROVs.  I mean down to identify new habitat areas and ocean floor topography. I joined the team as a science communication fellow funded by Ocean Exploration Trust, which owns and operates the E/V Nautilus.

As Ensia mentions at the beginning of the story:

In conclusion, they say there are better maps of the moon and Mars than of Earth.  For some 70 percent of this planet’s surface is under water.  So water also disrupts radar signals needed to generate high-resolution maps. Most maps of the ocean floor also have a resolution of 5 kilometers (3.1 miles).  Finally meaning only objects with about that diameter or larger are discernible.

For the entire story on Ensia