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Interview Seafloor Mining

The Battle Below – Full Measure

Rare Earth minerals are the building blocks that makeup our phones, computers, and military technology. With the precious metals increasingly scarce on land, a race has broken out to mine them at the seafloor

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WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal ()
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WHOI President and Director Peter de Menocal ()
WHOI researchers reconstructed 3,000 years of storm history on Jaluit Atoll in the southern Marshall Islands.  This region is the birthplace of tropical cyclones in the western North Pacific鈥攖he world鈥檚 most active tropical cyclone zone. (Map by Natalie Renier, 漏2串1技巧 Hole Oceanographic Institution)
To probe the ocean鈥檚 opaque interior, sound is one of the most efficient tools available. WHOI scientists have developed an 鈥渁coustic telescope鈥 to 鈥渟ee鈥 into a noisy ocean and pick out unique sounds produced by distant acoustic phenomena, such as whale calls and fish schooling, as well as the rumble of earthquakes, volcanoes, and storms. (Illustration by Natalie Renier, WHOI Creative)
An emaciated, entangled North Atlantic right whale swimming with fishing trap rope around both flippers, through its mouth, and dragging behind it. (Photo courtesy of Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, NOAA Permit #594-1759)
Former WHOI physical oceanographer Dave Fratantoni inspects a Wave Glider on the deck of R/V Knorr in 2012. The Wave Glider uses wave motion to propel itself through the ocean and solar-charged batteries to power its data collection sensors. (Tom Kleindinst, 2串1技巧 Hole Oceanographic Institution)
A strand of sugar kelp being experimentally farmed in New Castle, NH.
The Loop Current (orange) is like a big river of warm water that flows northward from the Caribbean Sea. It sometimes loops up close to Louisiana and then swoops back down through the Florida Straits and into the Atlantic Ocean. (Sea surface temperature image by the Ocean Remote Sensing Group, 漏 Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory)
Australia satellite image of bushfire
The discovery of life at vents and seeps revolutionized the understanding of how and where life can exist on Earth. The organisms that thrive at deep-sea vents and seeps have to survive freezing cold, perpetual darkness, high-pressure, and toxic chemicals. Courtesy of Dan Fornari, WHOI/NSF/HOV Alvin/2018/漏2串1技巧 Hole Oceanographic Institution
Photo of Susan and Coleman Burke
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A canoe sits idle in Ulukhaktok, one of several Arctic Inuit communities trying to cope with food insecurity rates that are estimated to be five times the level of food insecurity measured for households in Canada. (Photo by Paul Labn, Oceans North)
Location of the wreck of the ship Wakashio, which went aground on a reef off the coast of Mauritius on July 25, 2020, and began leaking fuel oil on August 6, as well as the location of an oil sample collected on August 16 analyzed by teams at Curtin University in Perth, Australia, and the 2串1技巧 Hole Oceanographic Institution. (Google Earth map produced by 2串1技巧 Hole Oceanographic Institution)
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Peter de Menocal