Ocean Mapping Key to Survival

Technology at hand for $3B program, scientists say
By Katherine Thompson,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 26, 2007 2:01 PM CST
Sri Lankan youngsters enjoy a late swim at the beach in Colombo. The proposed ocean monitoring system could provide better tsunami warnings that would help protect coastal communities.   (Getty Images)
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(Newser) – A $3 billion monitoring system for the world's oceans is vital to their survival—and to that of mankind, scientists say. A group of experts is proposing an elaborate system using satellites, stations on the sea floor, drifting robots, and electronic tags on marine life, reports the Telegraph. One benefit, the scientists say, would be better advance warnings of storms and tsunamis.

The system would track threats like warming seas, overfishing, and pollution, and it would pay for itself by contributing to safer shipping operations and preservation of fish stocks.
"Oceans cover a majority of our planet—71%—yet are vastly under-sampled," says one scientist.