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Scientists Are Now Wiring Oceans To Protect Ecosystems

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Scientists always want to discover what animals are doing, where they go, and what their environments are like when they cannot see them. However, obtaining information about the behavior of animals in their natural environment is not always easy.

Harsh conditions for human beings such as polar zones or deep oceans demands scientists to equip with technology to carry out their missions and projects. Most recently, Stanford marine scientists aim to wire the deep sea to a digitally connected world by a series of “ocean WiFi hotspots”.

By utilizing miniature telemetry tags, which is similar to a transmitter implanted in marine creatures, combined with acoustic receiver-carrying mobile glider platforms and instrumented buoys, scientist are able to obtain data from oceans at levels as small as bacteria and as large as blue whales. This revolutionizes how we understand marine creature’s population structure, physiological and evolutionary constraints as well as fisheries management and eventually help protect marine ecosystems.

This work is part of a larger effort to establish a global network of instruments to more comprehensively study the biosphere. The global Census of Marine Life is a decade-long study that invested $25 million in electronic tagging, enabling marine scientists from five nations to map ocean hot spots.


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