Please support Cousteau Divers' Hermes project by signing up for the Thunderclap scheduled at 16:00 (UTC+2) on September 2nd here: http://bit.ly/1IdNEGW
Seventy percent of our planet is one connected ocean. It produces half the oxygen we breathe and feeds over three billion people.
Today the ocean is at risk, losing biodiversity at an alarming rate due to pollution, overfishing, and climate change. The ocean’s temperatures greatly influence our planet’s climate, weather, fish stocks, bird populations. Ocean temperatures are steadily increasing yet our understanding of how they vary at the scale of the ecosystems is largely unknown to science.
Only the power of citizen science and crowdsourcing can “plug this hole” in our understanding of how temperature varies in the ocean. Without this knowledge, the management and conservation of marine ecosystems is a “shot in the dark”. It is a vital source of information that governments, scientists, fisheries, and conservation organizations need if they are going to understand this major threat to ocean life.
Project Hermes is the first global effort to measure ocean temperatures worldwide at the scale of the ecosystem. Since August 2015, Cousteau Divers spearheads this unique project. Using satellite sea surface temperature, diver’s computers and a collaborative, non-profit, open source software and database, Project Hermes will provide near real-time temperatures of the ocean, at depth, world-wide.
Every time the Cousteau diver enters the underwater realm, they provide vital data on how ocean temperature varies. This is revolutionary information.
The Cousteau Divers community started six years ago, to act as an immune system for the ocean seeking to better understanding it and better protect it. Check out what we’ve been doing up to now on www.cousteaudivers.org/science and www.cousteaudivers.org/multimedia/all. Our website is being improved and the new version will go live in October 2015.
Our rapidly-growing community will soon consist of 50 Cousteau Dive centres in over 15 countries in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Americas. We have gathered thousands of images of marine life world-wide and an online community hundreds of thousands strong. Join our online community of over 130 thousand likes on www.facebook.com/cousteaudivers.
In July of this year, during the World Ocean Summit in Lisbon, Cousteau Divers met with Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg, Director of the Global Change Institute of Queensland (GCI), a world-class research organisation dedicated to solving the mysteries of the ocean, especially in the light of the rapid changes that are now occurring due to climate change. Speaking about the power of citizen science, we quickly realised what we had in our hands. Combining the Cousteau Divers community and reach to UQ’s scientific network and connections with Coral Reef Watch at NOAA, we can take the temperature of the ocean. Literally.
NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch uses some of the most advanced technology in the world to monitor the sea surface temperatures from satellites. DAN Europe’s Diving Safety Laboratory is the leading diver safety research organisation in Europe and has been collecting diving temperatures for a decade, with over 60,000 diver data profiles in stock. This data will be anonymously fed into the Hermes software to obtain a 10-year backlog of sea temperatures. We want to present these findings in time for the United Nations Climate Summit (COP21) in Paris, this December, where the leaders of the world will gather. We will shed new light on the ocean influences climate, which governments have not been privy to in the past.
All of these partners, and more, are helping us make Project Hermes a reality with in-kind contributions. All data collected and processed is made open source and shared among all project partners and the public. Together we will organise a hackathon in October to explore programming solutions and the practical applications of this new data.
We are non-profit, non-governmental, and open-source. We believe mankind needs this information in order to better manage its resources, and we have found a way of making it technically and financially possible, today. Textbooks will be re-written once we understand the behaviour of the ocean beneath its surface.
Our target is to raise a minimum of USD 50,000 in order to purchase and deploy scientific equipment throughout the Cousteau Dive centres, making each Cousteau Diver a citizen scientist and ambassador of the project. We want to deploy 50 high-precision temperature loggers in dive centres world-wide to monitor the ocean in “near” real-time. The Hermes software will “bridge” the diver temperatures with satellite readings, and produce visual products accessible to all.
We really need your help to make Project Hermes a reality! You can do the following:
1.Donate to this pre-campaign before September 1
2.Pledge to donate on our crowdfunding campaign when it goes live at the end of August
3.Tell your friends and family! Help us spread the word
4.Follow us on social media and share this campaign
What is the impact?
One example of the tremendous importance of ocean temperatures is mass coral bleaching and mortality. As sea temperatures rise, corals lose their photosynthetic symbiotic zooxanthellae, which results in the coral suddenly whitening. Given that the zooxanthellae are a critical source of food and nutrition for the coral, corals often starve and die following mass coral bleaching.
Due to climate change, ocean temperatures are exceptionally warm across the planet. 2015-2016 promises to be an El Niño year, meaning that warmer than normal temperatures are likely to spread throughout the world, potentially devastating corals and impacting the many life forms that live on them. NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch monitors sea surface temperatures daily, world-wide. As El Niño spreads across the world in the coming year, we will be able to monitor its effect on water temperatures at depth, which has tremendous scientific value.
By donating and joining the Cousteau Divers network, you have the opportunity to help understand and contribute to collecting important information on climate change within marine ecosystems.
Let's create a snowball effect
Join us on this adventure and help us spread the word! Marine life is in danger; with Project Hermes, become a steward of the ocean. Donating today to the pre-crowdfunding campaign will significantly help boost our crowdfunding campaign (which launches at the end of August 2015), as all funds collected will be deposited into the campaign on the day it launches.
All donations received before the official launch of the campaign will be rewarded! We’ll put your name forward as an early donor and ambassador of Project Hermes.
Join us! Donate now.
Thank you for actively supporting Project Hermes to take the temperature of the ocean in a way that has never been done before. Literally. Many thanks from our partners as well, including the beautiful and fragile beings in the ocean who sustain our very lives. Our fates are connected!
“In full truth, we are partners to the fish, the snail, the crab, the grasses that grow in secret places beyond our sight. Upon their survival, hangs our own.”
— Jacques-Yves Cousteau