World - One-fifth of Earth's ocean floor is now mapped
We've just become a little less ignorant about Planet Earth.
The initiative that seeks to galvanise the creation of a full map of the ocean floor says one-fifth of this task has now been completed.
When the Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Project was launched in 2017, only 6% of the global ocean bottom had been surveyed to what might be called modern standards.
That number now stands at 19%, up from 15% in just the last year.
Some 14.5 million sq km of new bathymetric (depth) data was included in the GEBCO grid in 2019 - an area equivalent to almost twice that of Australia.
It does, however, still leave a great swathe of the planet in need of mapping to an acceptable degree.
"Today we stand at the 19% level. That means we've got another 81% of the oceans still to survey, still to map. That's an area about twice the size of Mars that we have to capture in the next decade," project director Jamie McMichael-Phillips told BBC News.
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