Underwater Census Reveals The Extent Of The Unknown

August 8th, 2010 - 7:22 pm ICT by GD  

By Meena Kar
a-dragonfish-from-austral-016Aug 8, (THAINDIAN NEWS) In a revelation that can only be called mind blowing, a group of scientists have announced that there are a total of 230,000 species of living organisms underwater and the there is another million or so that are yet to be discovered. The research took 10 years to conduct and needed as many as 360 scientists worldwide.

An oceanographer, with the National Geographic Society in Washington, has said that a part of what the Census has achieved is recognizing the magnitude of what we do not know yet. So far only the initial findings have been released and the entire Census will be released in London on October 4. The purpose of the census was to create a baseline of information that could be useful for future research. The census also identified some of the major threats to ocean life that included pollution, over fishing and habitat loss. The more recent threats include rising water temperatures, acidification of the water and low oxygen in many of the areas underwater.

Among the species that have been discovered the scientists said that for each one that they discovered almost 4 in the same category remain unknown. They have revealed that in the case of fishes, they are confident of discovering almost 70 percent of the species but in case of the other groups, less than one third of the total species is known to mankind. A senior scientist, who was part of the project, said that the effort of the census was like ‘bringing order to chaos’. Another scientist said that the census provided a snapshot in spite of the ten years of efforts.

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