Ocean explorer Jon Copley has spent years delving into the depths of the ocean to study its mysterious creatures and habitats. In his new book, “Deep Sea: 10 Things You Should Know,” Copley addresses common questions and misconceptions about the deep sea.
Copley discusses some of the exciting recent discoveries in deep-sea research, particularly in the field of sensory ecology. Scientists have gained insight into how deep-sea animals perceive their environment and interact with each other. These findings challenge the notion that the deep sea is a sterile and unknown realm.
One of the biggest misconceptions about the deep sea is the idea that we know very little about it compared to the moon or Mars. While detailed mapping of the ocean floor is still incomplete due to the challenges posed by seawater, our knowledge of the deep sea far surpasses our understanding of other extraterrestrial surfaces. The deep sea is a rich and diverse ecosystem that harbors countless species.
Deep-sea mining has drawn attention to the deep ocean, but Copley emphasizes the importance of careful research and management to minimize potential environmental impact. Some habitats, such as active hydrothermal vents, are particularly vulnerable and need protection to prevent species extinction. Scientists have advocated for the preservation of these unique ecosystems for years.
However, Copley believes that the greatest threat to the deep sea is climate change. Deoxygenation caused by rising temperatures and changes in currents is a significant concern. Deep-sea animals rely on oxygen carried by currents, but climate change is disrupting this process. Warmer water holds less oxygen, and weakened currents further reduce the oxygen supply. These changes have lasting effects that will continue to impact the deep ocean for centuries.
Overall, Copley’s book sheds light on the wonders of the deep sea and highlights the importance of understanding and preserving this vast and fragile ecosystem. Through continued research and responsible management, we can protect the deep ocean and its extraordinary inhabitants.
– “Deep Sea: 10 Things You Should Know” by Jon Copley (Orion Publishing, 2023)