Scientists warn that mining the sea floor to search for precious metals such as zinc and cobalt required for electric car batteries may lead to irreversible damage to marine ecosystems, as researchers from Bigelow Lab Oceanography said that demand for battery-powered devices such as electric cars has created Motivation to extract the cobalt-rich seabed, which is reflected in the environment with great damage despite the objectives of these products are basically good.
According to the British Daily Mail, experts at the Maine facility in New England have studied the potential impact of mining on deep-sea microorganisms and the system surrounding them.
Beth Orkut, the study’s researcher, who urged caution against mining companies, said microbes on the seabed were responsible for basic ecosystem services.
These societies are “very slow to recover from turmoil,” Orkut said, so he said: “Decision makers must consider the impact when issuing licenses.”
He added: “Mining efforts in the deep sea have already accelerated in the past few years, and it is important that policy and industry makers understand the relationship between these microbes and the services they provide.”
The European Commission says that the amount of minerals on the ocean floor is large, and that any seabed mining must be to ensure supply security and bridge a market gap, due to possible recycling or the very high burden of land minerals, and the Commission is working on a set of studies to examine the impact And the potential of seabed mining.
While the United Nations issued 29 licenses to explore the deep sea for rare metals that will be used in electric cars and other battery devices.
A report issued by Greenpeace in 2019 said that unless guarantees are put in place, there will be massive and irreversible damage to the world’s oceans of mining.
“This industry can destroy the deep ocean wonders before we have an opportunity to study it,” said Louisa Casson of the campaign group.
Researchers from Bigelow say the effect varies from site to site, as not all sites on the seabed are as vulnerable as one another.
Their findings indicate that the potential impacts of mining on microbial ecosystems vary greatly, from minimal disturbances to the irreversible loss of important ecosystem processes.