Oftentimes we don’t think about our limited knowledge of the deep ocean until after disaster strikes and it’s too late. An oil spill or a missing airplane can quickly demonstrate both how little we know about these environments and how difficult it is to get timely, actionable information about deep-water areas.
Deep reaches of the ocean are places with almost freezing temperatures, corrosive saltwater, limited or no light, and extreme pressures. Not only do we not always know what’s there, we often are lacking the tools and technology needed to get to these extreme places.
Before, not after, disaster strikes: That is when we need knowledge about the environment. Ocean exploration provides this basic environmental intelligence needed to respond and respond appropriately. Additionally, the tools and technologies being developed for exploration can be transferred for use in emergency situations.
Without this basic knowledge and these technologies, how can we respond in the face of an ocean crisis and how can we know that our response is the right one?