State of the Earth´s Oceans

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The oceans cover 70% of the Earth’s surface and are an essential part of the whole earth system. The oceans have a fundamental role in controlling our climate, are an important buffer for atmospheric COand are one of the most important sources of protein and lipids exploited for human consumption. In spite of their importance for climate, and exploitation our knowledge of the oceans is less than our knowledge of space. 
Satellite remote sensing over last 20 years has been revolutionary for marine research as it revealed the intricate patterns of the marine environment, its currents, blooms, hot spots, upwelling zones and more. Many crucially important processes do take place at the ocean surface, such as heat flux, deep water formation, primary production. However, over and above covering the 70% of the earth’s surface the Ocean is 3-Dimensional and includes over 90% of the habitable space on this planet out of the detection of satellite or other airborne sensing.
There is a need to develop observational platforms and systems that can detect processes in the deep oceans. During the last 10 years a major international effort has been on underwater ocean observation technology. Argo floats and gliders have revealed the oceans heat storage and shown that 93% of the heat associated with global warming has gone into the oceans since the industrial revolution. Undulating video plankton recorders give us information of patchiness under the ocean surfaces, green laser cameras detect organisms in murky waters of the coastal zones and new generation of sensors give us the opportunity to sniff out DNA. At DTU, we are tantalizingly close to the forefront of this innovation, innovation that is crucial for our sustainable exploitation of the world’s oceans.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 2016
EventSustain-ATV Conference 2016: Creating Technology for a Sustainable Society - Technical University of Denmark, Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
Duration: 30 Nov 201630 Nov 2016


ConferenceSustain-ATV Conference 2016
LocationTechnical University of Denmark
CityKgs. Lyngby
Internet address

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Sustain Abstract S-3


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