Oceans cover more than two-thirds of the surface of the planet - yet they are still not fully understood.
The world's oceans play an important role in the Earth's climate system, and millions of people depend on them directly for sustenance. People also traverse the oceans, and use them to transport goods. Yet the world's oceans are in trouble, as warming and acidification take their toll. They've also become a garbage dump for the planet, with consequences for marine life.
Sound can really travel in water. And many marine animals rely almost solely on their sense of sound to communicate and fulfill their basic needs. Today, much of the marine soundscape is dominated by human noise pollution. DW spoke to Richard Dewey of Ocean Networks Canada about what this sounds like below the surface, and its impacts — including how this has changed during the COVID-19 lockdown.
Although oceans cover more than two-thirds of the Earth, we don't often hear what goes on beneath the surface. This week: How playing sound underwater could be used to help revive coral reefs — and the ways human noise pollution is muddying the marine soundscape. Also, South Africa’s humpback whales make a stunning comeback.
In the 1970s, hunting nearly drove whales like the humpback to extinction. But in 1985, a moratorium on commercial whaling gave humpbacks a chance. Their resurgence in South Africa is considered among the great species conservation success stories. Oceans now ring with the humpback’s iconic songs once again.
Plastic bags have become a symbol of the waste problem. Not only do they clog our oceans and waterways, they also foul cities and neighborhoods. In Africa, more than 30 countries have either completely or partially banned lightweight plastic bags, or charge taxes on them. Is it working? Isaac Mugabi is a DW journalist who's been following the issue, and he fills us in on the latest.
The nuclear disaster in Fukushima in Japan happened almost nine years ago. An earthquake triggered a tsunami that led to the meltdown of three nuclear reactors. Fukushima is soon running out of space to store radioactive water. DW's Tim Schauenberg talks about plans how to discharge that water and what else is lurking at the bottom of the sea.