Ecosystem Oceanic Mapping
$1 MILLION (Prize amount to be confirmed. Announcement expected for next year)
Marine ecosystems are the largest of Earth’s aquatic ecosystems and are distinguished by waters that have a high salt content. These systems contrast with freshwater ecosystems, which have a lower salt content. Marine waters cover more than 70% of the surface of the Earth and account for more than 97% of Earth’s water supply and 90% of habitable space on Earth. Marine ecosystems include nearshore systems, such as the salt marshes, mudflats, seagrass meadows, mangroves, rocky intertidal systems and coral reefs. They also extend outwards from the coast to include offshore systems, such as the surface ocean, pelagic ocean waters, the deep sea, oceanic hydrothermal vents, and the sea floor. Marine ecosystems are characterized by the biological community of organisms that they are associated with and their physical environment.
Marine ecosystems are important sources of ecosystem services and food and jobs for significant portions of the global population. Human uses of marine ecosystems and pollution in marine ecosystems are significantly threats to the stability of these ecosystems. Moreover, much of the carbon dioxide causing global warming and heat captured by global warming are absorbed by the ocean, ocean chemistry is changing through processes like ocean acidification which in turn threatens marine ecosystems. Because of these opportunities in marine ecosystems for humans and the threats created by humans, the international community has prioritized “Life below water” as Sustainable Development Goal 14 to “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.
For the above reasons and for our planet future well being we need to know in detail our ecosystems, including the marine one.