A ten year effort to explore and document the world’s oceans has resulted in a treasure trove of scientific information. The Census of Marine Life, an international effort by 2,700 scientists from 80 countries, has revealed what, where, and how much lives and hides in the world’s oceans. The effort has discovered close to 6,000 new species and described 1,200 of them. Thirty million observations of species and their distributions have been digitally archived and are now available in the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (www.iobis.org), an online, open-access, globally distributed network of systematic, ecological, and environmental information. The project also served to establish a baseline of human impacts on marine ecosystems.
To download the Census of Marine Life “Highlights of a Decade of Discovery” report, visit http://origin.coml.org/pressreleases/census2010/PDF/Highlights-2010-Report-Low-Res.pdf.
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