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Principle 7: The Ocean is largely unexplored

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The ocean is the largest unexplored place on Earth—less than 5% of it has been explored. The next generation of explorers and researchers will find great opportunities for discovery, innovation, and investigation.

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Understanding the ocean is more than a matter of curiosity. Exploration, experimentation, and discovery are required to better understand ocean systems and processes. Our very survival hinges upon it.

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Over the last 50 years, use of ocean resources has increased significantly; the future sustainability of ocean resources depends on our understanding of those resources and their potential.

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New technologies, sensors, and tools are expanding our ability to explore the ocean. Scientists are relying more and more on satellites, drifters, buoys, sub-sea observatories, and unmanned submersibles.

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Use of mathematical models is an essential part of understanding the ocean system. Models help us understand the complexity of the ocean and its interactions with Earth’s interior, atmosphere, climate, and land masses.

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Ocean exploration is truly interdisciplinary. It requires close collaboration among biologists, chemists, climatologists, computer programmers, engineers, geologists, meteorologists, physicists, animators, and illustrators. And these interactions foster new ideas and new perspectives for inquiries.

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