In the most detailed study ever conducted in the Atlantic Ocean for five years, 12 new species were discovered.
Algae animals, mollusks and corals had not been discovered until now due to insufficient bottom studies.
Science people are warning that the newly discovered species may already be threatened by climate change.
Ocean The carbon dioxide absorbed by the water increases the acid level in the water and causes rotting of corals in particular.
Scientists stress that “it is not too late” to protect these special species and habitats.
Key findings from new discoveries in the Atlantic:
New species: “At least” 12 new deep water species discovered. The team also captured 35 new traces of species living in previously known areas.
Climate change: The warming of the oceans, acidification and depletion of food resources can seriously destroy the habitats of deep sea species by 2100.
Hydrothermal vents: Scientists have discovered seafloor currents near the Azores. Hydrothermal vents are areas important for biological productivity that can host different species in the deep ocean.
Getting to know the depths
Prof. “Maps of the lunar and Martian surfaces are still better than our ocean-deep maps. Wherever you go in the deep seas, you find something new. You can find not only new species, but also new ecosystems,” comments George Wolff.
Professor of Edinburgh University, who led the project Atlas. Murray Roberts told the BBC that five years of research also revealed some special areas in the ocean.
Prof. Roberts states:
“We found deep-water cities of sponges and ocean corals. These areas support life in the ocean. Fish lay eggs in these areas.”
“If these cities are destroyed by human hands, these fish cannot find a place to spawn and these ecosystems will cease to function for future generations.
“This is just as important as understanding the importance of the rainforests for biodiversity. Same with the deep seas. There is a link between all these areas that need to be protected.”
Slowing ocean currents
Researchers from 13 countries around the Atlantic Ocean participated in the project. Scientists have investigated how the ocean environment has changed as a result of global warming, and what causes people’s efforts to benefit from deep seas.
Studies of ocean currents have revealed that currents are severely reduced in the North Atlantic due to climate change.
Prof. “This has multidimensional implications. But basically the links between ecosystems are weakened. Currents are like highways connecting different habitats in the endless ocean,” says Roberts.
Working in the field of natural resources economics from Tromso University, Prof. “Thanks to this research, we got a chance to see what we are putting at risk,” says Claire Armstrong.
“Ocean depths are out of sight. We don’t see what we are doing to the environment, what the consequences might be.”