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David Millar: Understanding the Oceans

Thought Leadership 17 min

In some ways more is known about the surface of Mars than our own planet. With over 70 % of the Earth’s surface covered in ocean, more than 75 % of this watery space has never been mapped. 

This daunting data hole prevents search and rescue teams from performing vital work, such as searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines aircraft MH370. It also stands in the way of our scientific understanding of the largest biosphere on the planet.

A crowdfunded group, the General Bathymetric Chart of the Oceans (GEBCO) committee, have been working to change this, and if everything goes well, we should have a complete picture of the world’s oceans by 2030.


The image shows areas of the global seafloor that are considered mapped within the GEBCO grid. The regions coloured grey depict the coverage of mapped areas within the 2021 release of the GEBCO Grid and the areas coloured red show the additional coverage included in the 2022 release.


David Millar, Government Accounts Director – Americas

Image courtesy of The Nippon Foundation-GEBCO Seabed 2030 Global Center (GDACC) on behalf of Seabed 2030

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Jon Baston-Pitt

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