Scientists have tirelessly carried out outer space expeditions and extensively studied planets and black holes. However, a large portion of the earth’s ocean floor remains to be mapped and charted. Marine creatures are still left to be discovered and identified. One might even wonder how we will prevent water pollution in the ocean if we do not understand it or know what it holds in its deepest pits.
The ocean encompasses approximately 71% of the earth’s surface. It is a vital part of the planet, sheltering a large ecosystem. But given its significance, why has only 5% of the ocean been studied and recorded, whereas more than 90% of its waters below surface level and the mysteries it harbors are yet to be unearthed?
Why Is It Necessary?
Oceans and other unknown ecosystems are particularly vulnerable to pollution, plastics, overfishing, and climate change. Signs of water pollution in the ocean, even in its deepest trenches, show that our actions have reached the lowest points of the ocean. Since human activity has harmed every other ecology on Earth we must improve our understanding and knowledge of the oceans to safeguard them from further pollution levels.
Finding the mysteries of ancient civilizations, unexplored maritime routes, and protecting a vital source of life depend on ocean exploration. We might be able to develop plans to counter issues such as warming seas and depletion of marine ecology if we probe deeper into the water’s surface level.
The Reasons Why Only 5% Of The Ocean Is Explored?
To begin with, technology for ocean exploration is still very young. Humans have been traversing the ocean’s surface for years. It is only recently that we can explore its depth and floors. Satellites can monitor the surface temperatures and waters, but far superior technology is required to map the ocean’s interior, such as deep-sea sonars and submarines.
Furthermore, visibility is poor in deep water. The fact that exploration conditions become worse at deeper depths. Navigation is only possible till the small area of the ocean we have explored. The pressure is very strong, and imaging becomes more difficult below the surface because sunlight doesn’t exceed 200 meters.
While there is very little strain involved with space travel, deep-sea missions face tremendous pressure. The average depth of the ocean is nearly 2.3 miles deep. 12,100 ft below the ocean’s surface, the pressure is 300 times higher than land. But beyond 36,000ft at the ocean’s lowest level, the pressure is incomprehensibly 1,000 times higher. Underwater exploration submersibles need to endure this kind of pressure and continue with an internal pressure that is within the range of human capability. Pressure hulls regulate internal pressure. However, they limit the submersible’s capabilities as they are almost a third of its weight. The magnitude of pressure in the abyss makes it extremely tough for humans to explore the deepest parts of the ocean directly.
Advanced Complexities – Water Pollution In The ocean
NASA utilizes radio waves to map distant planets. However, they are obstructed by water when they are near the sea. Although the technology is available, mapping the ocean floor requires sonar, which is a far slower process. The seafloor cannot be mapped with radar because ocean water blocks a satellite’s radio frequencies, compared to moons and planets. Scientists will require complex sonar instruments for accurate and detailed imaging to digitally map and document even 100 meters of the ocean floor.
Metals wear off due to the electrochemical processes available at deep seawater levels. Deep-sea robots need to be able to endure the corrosive qualities of saltwater. Thus withstanding tremendous pressure and extended dive times. Modern submersibles have a polymer coating to prevent corrosion of their metal body from seawater.
Studies and achievements in oceanography are lagging in comparison to astronomy and space studies for multiple reasons. We must find ways to explore the unresearched bodies to curb water pollution in the ocean and protect the future of our environment.