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Mapping the world's seabed by 2030

06-07-2017 01:00 PM CET | Energy & Environment

Press release from: Nippon Foundation

TOKYO / NEW YORK - Mankind has mapped the Moon, Venus and Mars at 100 meters or better, but less than a scant 0.5% of planet Earth's ocean floor; Seabed 2030 hopes to change all that by mapping the entire seabed by 2030.

The General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) and the Nippon Foundation through their sponsorship of Seabed 2030 look to expand their understanding of the ocean floor by mapping and compiling a high-resolution open-source Digital Bathymetric Model of the world's seabed at an unheard of 100 meter resolution or better.

On Tuesday June 6th, at the UNESCO's "Ocean 8" marine science awards ceremony in New York City Nippon Foundation Chairman Yohei Sasakawa in his acceptance speech, announced plans to fund “Seabed 2030” and produce a complete map of the world’s ocean floor by 2030.

To secure a better picture of what the ocean floor actually yields, it's not just missing airplanes and underwater volcanic vents:

-Ocean currents can be modeled and predicted with much greater accuracy and naturally so can climate conditions and climate change.

-Navigation for submarines and ships becomes safer and more reliable.

-Undersea prospectors gain a better picture of our natural resources.

-Open-source distribution means benefits for public awareness and education.

In creating this high-resolution map, the world’s ocean will be separated into four regions (North Pacific / Arctic Ocean, Atlantic / Indian Ocean, South Pacific / West Pacific Ocean, Southern Ocean), with a data assembly coordination center established in each region to collect existing data. The project will also utilize data collected from fishing and merchant vessels equipped with measurement devices.

The cooperation of 78 fellows from 36 countries who have participated in the joint training program of the Nippon Foundation and the GEBCO Guiding Committee to train experts in the field of ocean floor mapping, as well as from public institutions, universities, and businesses, has already been enlisted.

The newest version of the ocean floor map will be made available on Seabed 2030’s official website every time there is an update. Cooperation with Google Earth and search engines like ESRI’s Ocean Basemap is also being considered.

In his acceptance speech, Sasakawa termed the completion of the world’s ocean map as “people’s dream” and asked all to support this project, stating that “the world’s ocean map is necessary not only for safe navigation at sea, but also for promoting sustainable development at sea”.

Please feel free to share this with colleagues who may be covering areas of climate change, environmental science, marine science and education.

Nippon Foundation

The ocean is essential to human life.

Today, however, the world's seas and oceans face a variety of problems, including pollution, kidnapping and piracy, and the depletion of marine food resources.

Resolving these problems requires human resources to tackle these issues.
Even if there are people and organizations who share this sense of crisis for the future of our ocean, they are not able to work together and effectively realize their full potential.

We are cultivating people to clear the future for the world's oceans, while at the same time building a foundation that connects these people and organizations, to pass on the ocean's riches to future generations.

The Nippon Foundation
The Nippon Zaidan Building
1-2-2 Akasaka, Minato-ku Tokyo 107-8404, Japan
TEL : +81-3-6229-5111 FAX : +81-3-6229-5110
email : cc@ps.nippon-foundation.or.jp

http://www.nippon-foundation.or.jp/en/news/articles/2017/25.html

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