Us humans know more about the surface of the Moon than we do Earth’s oceans, but there’s progress on closing that gap. The Seabed 3030 Project reports (via BBC News) that scientists have mapped 19 percent of ocean floors to contemporary standards, or a huge leap over the six percent from Seabed’s launch in 2017. A significant portion comes from nearly 5.6 million square miles of depth data collected in project partner GEBCO’s grid in 2019. That’s roughly twice the size of Australia, Seabed 2030 said.
The initiative has been helped by 133 contributors, partners and supporters. Some of the data, including GEBCO’s latest, had been publicly available but hadn’t been turned over until recently. Organization leaders are also counting on crowdsourced ship data and even robotic mapping vessels to fill in the gaps.