|The world oceans are vast and deep, yet rapidly advancing technology and the quest for mineral resources from previously unreachable depths is beginning to put the deep seas on the cusp of peril, so warn an international team of scientists this week. In an analysis in the journal Biogeosciences, which is published by the European Geosciences Union, the researchers outline services or benefits provided by the deep ocean to society. Yet using these services, now and in the future, they conclude that it is likely to make a significant impact on that habitat and what it ultimately does for society remains to be demonstrated, they point out in their analysis.|
The deep sea is the largest habitat on Earth, and it is incredibly important to humans, and it is facing a variety of stresses from increased human exploitation to impacts from climate change, said Andrew Thurber, an Oregon State University marine scientist and lead author on the study. He allowed that as we embark upon greater exploitation of this vast environment and start thinking about conserving its resources, it is imperative to know what this habitat already does for us.