Ocean Exploration

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Explain why fishing practices that affect deep sea corals are such a significant problem for deep sea ecosystems.
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Deep sea corals can take hundreds or thousands of years to grow and they serve as habitats for many other deep sea organisms. Therefore, when they are damaged, the entire ecosystem is affected and cannot be repaired quickly. Damage done today might not be repaired for several hundred years.
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Describe some of the reasons for exploring the mid-Cayman ridge.
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Life on Earth goes back almost 4.1 billion years, but photosynthesis as characterized by cyanobacteria only appeared around 3.5 billion years ago (Ga). Since life on Earth predates photosynthesis, the exploration of this deep-water environment that lacks any source of light could provide information on what those life forms looked like.
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The most abundant source of methane in the globe is _______.
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Correct Answer: B a.coal-fired power plants b.methane hydrates c.soil microbes d. animal waste
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Explain why scientists are concerned about the release of the methane stored in Arctic ice
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By some estimates, there is more methane frozen in arctic ice than coal remaining in the world’s coal beds. Since methane is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas its impact could be truly enormous. It is also of concern because while the carbon dioxide emission resulting from coal use can be mitigated through human action, the release of methane from arctic ice is dependent upon global climate. Therefore, if the climate warms sufficiently to release large amounts of the methane it could establish a positive feedback cycle and warm the earth even further.
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Explain why it is important to study ocean microbes with regard to the biosphere.
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Microbes account for up to 90 percent of the ocean’s biomass and directly control all of the major biological and biogeochemical cycles responsible for balancing the different ecosystems of the biosphere.Therefore it is crucial to study these microbes in order to understand how they impact the systems of the biosphere.
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Explain why autonomous underwater explorers (AUEs) will provide entirely new kinds of information about ocean processes.
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Oceanographers are already very skilled at gathering information about large-scale ocean processes, but small-scale processes have largely been inaccessible. The AUEs will allow scientists to gather information about local and small-scale processes for the first time to study ocean phenomena in greater detail.
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The focus of the U.S. Joint Global Ocean Flux Study was _______.
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Correct Answer: C a. the ocean nitrogen cycle b. the ocean phosphorus cycle c.the ocean carbon cycle d. deep ocean currents
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Autonomous underwater explorers (AUEs) will collect information on _______.
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Correct Answer: B a. large-scale ocean processes b.small-scale ocean processes c. global tides and currents d. none of the above
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Which of the following goals is the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS) not intended to address?
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Correct Answer: C a. increase understanding of the oceans b.improve ocean safety c. promote ocean ownership d. enhance the economic output of the oceans

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