Friday, July 19, 2024

Scientists Warn Against Disturbing The Seabed to Curtail Climate Change


Activities like deep sea mining or trawling could speed up climate change, scientists are warning.

In a study published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, researchers found that at 17 sites on the floor of the Arctic Ocean north of Norway, the animals there were “storing more carbon than previously thought,” according to the British Antarctic Survey.

On two cruises in 2017 and 2019, the scientists took nearly 1,000 photos of the seabed floor to find out what animals were there as well as how much carbon those animals carry.

Dr. Terri Souster from the Arctic University of Norway and who led the study said:

“Previous estimates have underestimated how much carbon is being removed by marine life because they were based on data from troughs on the ocean floor. We systematically assessed a wider range of seafloor sites and found that far more carbon is being removed in continental shelf waters.”

While British Antarctic Survey marine biologist and study co-author Dr. David Barnes added:

“This study highlights how little we know about functionality of life in the deep, how it affects the global carbon cycle and the benefits nature in the ocean brings society.

“We don’t know which deeper seabed areas store most carbon, so we don’t know what areas we need to prioritise for conservation. Commercial exploitation is racing ahead before we even know what we will be damaging and losing.”

Check out the full study here.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.