Scientists call for decade of concerted effort to enhance understanding of the deep seas

Scientists call for decade of concerted effort to enhance understanding of the deep seas
A close-up image of a bamboo coral called Acanella arbuscula taken from ~1000m deep in the North East Atlantic Credit: NERC funded Deep Links Project (University of Plymouth, Oxford University, JNCC, BGS)

The deep seas—vast expanses of water and seabed hidden more than 200 meters below the ocean surface to depths up to 11,000 meters—are recognized globally as an important frontier of science and discovery.


But despite the fact they account for around 60% of Earth’s surface area, large areas remain completely unexplored, yet the habitats they support impact on the health of the entire planet.

Now an international team of scientists, spanning 45 institutions in 17 countries, has called for a dedicated decade-long program of research to greatly advance discovery in these remote regions.

The program—which scientists have named Challenger 150—will coincide with the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which runs from 2021-2030.

Challenger 150 will generate new geological, physical, biogeochemical, and biological data through a global cooperative of science and innovation, including the application of new technology. These data will be used to understand how changes in the deep sea impact the wider ocean and life on the planet.

Among its key areas of focus are to build greater capacity and diversity in the scientific community, acknowledging the fact that existing deep-sea research is conducted primarily by developed nations with access to resources and infrastructure.

The program will use this new knowledge of the deep to support regional, national, and international decision-making on deep-sea issues such as mining, hydrocarbon extraction, fishing, climate mitigation, laying of fiber optic cables and conservation.

The international team presented the rationale behind the call for action in a comment article in Nature Ecology and Evolution, simultaneously publishing a detailed blueprint of how the actions can be best achieved in Frontiers in Marine Science.

Led by members of the Deep-Ocean Stewardship Initiative (DOSI) and the Scientific Committee on Oceanic Research (SCOR), the authorship reflects both the gender and geographical diversity such a program demands, with authors from the six inhabited continents of the world.

They note that the UN Decade provides an unrivaled opportunity to unite the international science community to deliver a giant leap in our knowledge of the deep seas.

Scientists call for decade of concerted effort to enhance understanding of the deep seas
An outcrop of rock makes a perfect home for many different cold water coral species Credit: NERC funded Deep Links Project (University of Plymouth, Oxford University, JNCC, BGS)

Kerry Howell, Professor of Deep-Sea Ecology at the University of Plymouth (UK) and lead author of the research publications, said: “The deep seas and seabed are increasingly being used by society, and they are seen as a potential future asset for the resources they possess. But managing these resources sustainably requires that we first understand deep-sea ecosystems and their role in our planet, its people and its atmosphere. Our vision is for a 10 year program of science and discovery that is global in scale and targeted towards proving the science to inform decisions around deep-ocean use. We

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Industries like healthcare, tech, and education are poised to add a lot of high-paying jobs in the next decade. We found how to break into those fields.



a man and a woman sitting at a desk: Software developer is one of the best jobs of the future. Maskot/Getty Images


© Maskot/Getty Images
Software developer is one of the best jobs of the future. Maskot/Getty Images

Bianca Banuelos, who comes from a family of nurses, studied to become a certified nursing assistant while applying to nursing school at Ventura Training Institute, a vocational school in Southern California created by the registered nurse Jannet Wharton.

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She was also doing research in endocrinology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles but wanted to work more with patients, so she decided to become a certified nursing assistant.

Though Banuelos initially wanted to try a job outside nursing but still within healthcare, she ultimately decided to follow in her family’s footsteps. It just so happens that this occupation is one that is expected to grow faster than most jobs in the US over the next decade.

Though the pandemic is affecting employment across all industries, some industries are expected to grow over the next decade based on pre-pandemic data. If you are thinking about which kind of career you want, you may want to look at the education background and the skills you will need to succeed in industries with high-paying, high-growth occupations.

We recently ranked the top 30 jobs of the future, based on Labor Department projections for how they’re set to grow over the next decade and how well they pay. You can check out the full ranking here.

According to Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projections, the top 30 jobs on our ranking are set to collectively add as many as 2.3 million jobs between 2019 and 2029.

Most of the occupations on our ranking fell into five industries and categories: healthcare, tech, education, professional services, and skilled trades. We took a deep dive into the educational and experience requirements needed to get started in each of those sectors, along with why they’re poised to see such strong growth in the next decade.

These are the jobs of the future — and how to get them.

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