Our oceans are so vast and deep that their resources seem unlimited, that our actions seem to remain without consequences. Yet, it is a fairly unknown world – and a highly sensitive ecosystem. If we bring the oceans out of balance, we unbalance ourselves. Though clearly sensing that we might be wrong, mankind tends to exploit the oceans in an insatiable manner. Understanding the oceans is critical: What integrated observation systems do we need for assessing their role, especially in the climate system? What ecological impact results from deep-sea mining? How can researchers contribute to a reasonable use of the oceans’ potential? Various recent policy initiatives address this topic. Future developments, however, strongly depend on whether these can be brought to life. By providing the latest research examples and insights from politics and industry, the Helmholtz Association wants to foster the discussion for a sustainable approach.
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