Thursday, February 20, 2014

deep sea dilemmas

While I've never actually visited the Deep Sea, I'm kind of attached to that vast part of our planetary biosphere, as my PhD thesis was about biological functions under high hydrostatic pressures of the kind that you would find in the deeper parts of the oceans. Knowing how inaccessible and remote from us surface dweller the deep sea is, I might have hoped that it is better protected from the collateral damage of human activities than most places. Recent developments suggest, however, that even the deep biosphere may feel the effects of climate change, and it could also experience large scale devastation from industrial mining operations very soon.

All this is discussed in my latest feature in Current Biology which is out now:

The deep sea under siege

Current Biology, Volume 24, Issue 4, R137-R139, 17 February 2014 doi:10.1016/j.cub.2014.01.062

Free access to full text and PDF link

A black smoker known as The Brothers, off the coast of New Zealand. (Photo: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/Wikimedia Commons.)

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