The world oceans cover just over 70 percent of the planet. The ocean produces about half of the oxygen that sustains Earth, feeds and employees millions. It’s also pivotal to regulating the climate as it absorbs massive amounts of carbon dioxide. In 2008, the United Nations General Assembly designated June 8 as World Oceans Day “to celebrate our world’s shared ocean and our personal connection to the sea, as well as to raise awareness about the crucial role the ocean plays in our lives and the important ways people can help protect it.” Concern for the vast and mighty ocean has prompted the U.N. to launch the Ocean Decade — 10 years of challenges to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources by 2030."

Understanding, appreciating, and protecting this massive resource has surfaced as a major international priority. But, when it comes to knowing our oceans in-depth, humanity is still in the dark.

In this episode of Pod of the Planet, entitled “Mapping the Mysterious Deep,” Marie DeNoia Aronsohn speaks to Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory marine geophysicist Vicki Ferrini about a project to better understand our world oceans. The Nippon Foundation - GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project has an ambitious goal: to create a comprehensive, detailed map of the entire ocean floor by 2030.

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