The sea floor is still very unexplored. The evidence is that species unknown to science are often discovered. For the past five years, the ATLAS project, Funded by the EU, explored the depths. Thanks to this, they found the new Atlantic marine species, twelve in all.
New species and ecosystems
These are unknown algae, mollusks and corals. This particular terrain is generally poorly explored. The new species could be threatened by climate change, particularly acidification as a result of increased CO2 absorption by the ocean.
The scientists also discovered a field of thermal emissions from the ocean floor in the Azores. Hydrothermal fields are important areas with relatively high biological productivity. They house complex communities in the middle of the wide, deep ocean.
Professor George Wolff is an ocean chemist at the University of Liverpool and was involved in the project. He noted, “We can still say that we have better maps of the surface of the moon and Mars than of the ocean floor. So if you go into the depths of the ocean you will find something new. Not just individual species, but entire ecosystems.
Professor Murray Roberts is from the University of Edinburgh and has led the Atlas project. Said that nearly five years of exploration and research had uncovered some “special places” in the ocean. Now they had discovered “how they work”.
“We found entire communities made up of sponges or deep-sea corals that make up the cities of the deep sea,” he said. «You are the livelihood. The really important fish use these places as spawning grounds. ‘
If damaged by destructive human purposes, these fish have nowhere to spawn. The function of all these ecosystems would be lost to future generations, he said.
Researchers from 13 countries around the Atlantic were involved in the ATLAS project. Find out how the marine environment changes as the world warms and people take more advantage of the deep sea. The main currents in the North Atlantic have slowed dramatically in response to climate change.
The new marine species of the Atlantic show us how much there is still to be discovered. But human predators make them fragile, and we may only have spotted them only to say goodbye to them soon.