|Fig. 1 History of Ocean Depth Assertions|
I. Ignorance is Bliss?
The graph at Fig. 1 is a NOAA graph showing the mean (average) ocean depth in meters, as estimated or calculated for over a century.
The latest estimate, measurement, or calculation (3,682.2 m) that I use was done in 2010 (Science Daily).
Why have scientists been unsure of the depth?
According to a NASA scientist:
"... the oceans contain 99 percent of the living space on the planet ... We know more about the oceans than we used to. Yet we still know 'very little about the vast majority of the ocean', he says ... It's really a hard place to work. In many ways, it's easier to put a person into space than it is to send a person down to the bottom of the ocean. For one thing, the pressure exerted by the water above is enormous. It's the equivalent of one person trying to support 50 jumbo jets. It's also dark and cold. Unlike space where you can see forever, once you're down in the ocean you can't see anything because your light can't shine very far. It's a challenging place to study ... even with all the technology that we have today -- satellites, buoys, underwater vehicles and ship tracks -- we have better maps of the surface of Mars and the moon than we do the bottom of the ocean. We know very, very little about most of the ocean. This is especially true for the middle and deeper parts far away from the coasts"(NASA). NOAA adds:
"The ocean is the lifeblood of Earth, covering more than 70 percent of the planet's surface, driving weather, regulating temperature, and ultimately supporting all living organisms. Throughout history, the ocean has been a vital source of sustenance, transport, commerce, growth, and inspiration.(NOAA, emphasis added). Once upon a time, about nine years ago, when I pointed out that we treat the ocean like a black hole where we throw our nuclear, sewage, and other garbage and waste, the internut went a bit wacko on me (New Continent Found - Garbage Gyre II).
Yet for all of our reliance on the ocean, 95 percent of this realm remains unexplored, unseen by human eyes."
I have also attempted to point out that we don't tend to want to understand even the part of the ocean that we can see, or should see (NASA Busts The Ghost).
II. So How Do We Know So Much?
We don't have to see the bottom to see the surface, and that surface can tell us a lot about ourselves and what our civilization is doing to a planet we have yet to discover, it would seem (You Are Here).
There is a vast amount of information available (e.g. World Ocean Database, Permanent Service for Mean Sea Level).
That information is what I mull over, study, and use for the benefit of Dredd Blog readers.
We can know enough to save our civilization at some point, only if enough of our fellow sojourners get it and tell it like it is.
Frankly, that is not the case (Normalization Of The Abnormal, Civilization Is Now On Suicide Watch, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8).
There is no glory in all of this arduous work done under a 'pen name' ().
But there is the satisfaction of discovering and then sharing some discoveries with others (like the scientists who work at it day in and day out).
I am not tired of it yet, because it is something I believe.
Something I can hold on to.
And it makes me feel alright.
Lyrics here, (full concert here).