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Klaus Esterluß | Ideas

Into the sea, you and me – Biodiversity Day 2012 focuses on marine life

Photo: picture-alliance/dpaWhat’s going on under the surface of the sea? That’s what this years International Day for Biological Diversity, or the Biodiversity Day, is about. So the question today is: “How Much Life Is in the Sea?” Over the last decade scientists from around the world tryed to answer that question. The project was huge! The effort involved 2,700 scientists from over 80 nations, who participated in 540 expeditions around the world. They studied seawater and probed the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean, they sailed tropical seas and explored the arctic ice. And the scientists were successfull – after the trip they added 1,200 species to the known roster of life in the sea. And there’s no end to it in sight; scientists are still working through another 5,000 specimens to determine whether they are also newly-discovered species. You ask for the number of known marine species? Well, of course it’s increased to now around 250,000. In its final report, the Census team suggested it could be at least a million. Some think the figure could be twice as high.

Date

May 23, 2012

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