Dr Lisa Levin (Dir. Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography) introduces a panel of specialists during a Group discussion on Climate Change in the Deep Half of the Planet, at COP 22, Marrakech 2016.
The discussion centers around the largest habitat on Earth – Deep Ocean, more than >200m below the surface, which comprises more than half the planet’s surface area and >95% of its habitable volume. Because of its remoteness and the great expense of exploration, we have only seen 5% of the deep sea floor, there is a wealth of biodiversity out there, however, most of the species in the ocean and probably on the planet remain undescribed.
Over the past 50 years, we have developed new technologies that have allowed us to discover a host of different types of deep sea ecosystems, e.g. Deep water Coral reefs and canyons, Hydrothermal vents, Manganese nodules, etc. including the vast Deep Pelagic ocean realm. We have learned that this biodiversity provides very critical function and services to our planet, some of these services are ‘Provisioning services’, i.e. extracting increasingly; deep sea fish and shellfish, oil and gas from deep ocean, pharmaceuticals, industrial agents and we are just poised now to begin extracting minerals.
These deep sea ecosystems also provide Support functions and Regulating services, and we are beginning to appreciate the biodiversity down there, as in addition to providing genetic resources and bio material, it also serves as a ‘Living Library’ that is going to allow our planet to adapt to Climate Change.
Watch video for more exciting facts and graphics!
Related links :
https://scripps.ucsd.edu/centers/cmbc/ (Dr Lisa Levin)
http://www.cnrs.fr/en/aboutcnrs/overview.htm Francoise Gaill (Scientific Advisor)
http://www.quebec-ocean.ulaval.ca/en/ (Dimitri Kalitschenko)
https://scripps.ucsd.edu/ (Natalya Gallo & Kirk Sato)