|Topic: GS3 – Environment- Conservations
This topic is relevant for both Prelims and Mains in the context of understanding and preserving marine biodiversity
- Experts from nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust stated that the reef had been “right under our noses, waiting to be discovered,” spanning about 310 miles from Florida to South Carolina and reaching widths of 68 miles at certain points.
- Scientists from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and other organisations participated in the mapping project, and the journal Geomatics published their findings.
- This deep coral reef is astonishingly large—nearly three times larger than Yellowstone National Park.
- There is a subterranean ecosystem that sunlight doesn’t reach, located between 655 and 3,280 feet below the surface.
- Deep coral reefs are different in their ecological dynamics from their tropical counterparts because they rely on filtering food particles out of the water to obtain energy.
- Numerous marine creatures, including sharks, swordfish, sea stars, octopuses, prawns, and different fish species, call these deep-sea habitats home.
- The discovery is significant, according to experts of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, who call it “eye-opening” and “breathtaking in scale.”
- Despite their significance, deep coral reefs are just as vulnerable to threats as tropical reefs, including possible disruptions from activities like oil and gas drilling and climate change.
- Only roughly 75% of the ocean floor has been surveyed, according to experts from Temple University.
- This means that there is still a chance to find even larger deep-sea reefs down the road.
- Currently, high-resolution sonar equipment carried on ships has only been used to scan 50% of the offshore waters in the United States.
|PYQ: Assess the impact of global warming on coral life system with examples. (150 words/10m) (UPSC CSE (M) GS-1 2019)
|Practice Question: How does the discovery of the largest deep coral reef off the US Atlantic coast contribute to our understanding of marine biodiversity, and what challenges and opportunities does it present for sustainable development and ecosystem preservation? (200 words/12.5 m)