Deep sea exploration is a national priority, Emmanuel Macron announced this Tuesday during the presentation of the “France 2030” project. Stocks are scientific, economic and geographical.
The deep beach is an unknown world, more than just a place. We know more about the Moon at 384,400 km from Earth than at a depth of more than 10,000 meters. At the time of the advent of space tourism, only four humans had sunk so deep. Among them were the Swiss Auguste, Jack Picard, and the Frenchman Jean-Yves Costo. That was in the 1950s and 1960s.
Priority to the President of the Republic
They will not be alone soon. Emmanuel Macron announced this week in his investment plan “France 2030” that priority should be given to deep-sea exploration. Two billion euros will be dedicated in five years as important but complex as the space for this mission. At these depths, the darkness is total, a thousand times the pressure of the atmosphere, and the total lack of oxygen.
“It is an extraordinary lever for understanding organisms, accessing rare metals and the workings of new innovation habitats,” the head of state said, recalling France as the second largest ocean region in the world after the United States.
This decision is based on scientific, geostrategic and economic considerations. There are hydroelectric holes made of rocks that emit liquid containing hydrogen. 120,000 years old, the heat they create 3.5 billion years ago The origin of the first living things on Earth creates a habitat for unknown micro-bacteria. ‘Ifremer a mis point a Ulyx, A drone capable of descending to 6000 meters for 48 hours of diving to collect data and map the beach. It will be operational by 2022, but a submarine capable of descending to comparable depths, but with three people, the Ifrimer already has a nautilus.
Many natural resources
The abyss also contains the resources predicted by Jules Verne Twenty thousand leagues under the sea. Captain Nemo was convinced: “There are mines of zinc, iron, silver, and gold at the bottom of the sea, which will certainly be easily exploited.” Contains all types of minerals (cobalt, manganese or nickel). Contained in polymetallic nodules they can be used for batteries of everyday devices (smartphones, PCs, cars, bicycles, wind turbines …).
“I hear discussions are coming up,” said Emmanuel Macron, to allay the fears of conservatives who fear that the exploitation phase will come after the exploration.
The പ്രസിഡന്റ് 2 billion announced by the President of the Republic is guaranteed to be spent on “exploration” alone. But NGOs are cautious and skeptical.
When we talk about exploration, we often have scientific discoveries in our minds. This is not a mining exploration, “he said France Info Franകോois Charter, “Ocean” campaign manager at Greenpeace.
Occasionally World Conservation CongressLast September, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) in Marseille passed a resolution calling for a moratorium on coastal mining and calling for “impact assessments” to ensure the protection of the marine environment. France left.
But already, big companies like BMW, Google or Samsung are committed to “using minerals from deep water or financing deep water mining”. In a “temporary” commitment as scientists wait to clearly measure the consequences of coastal exploitation in biodiversity.
Monitor strategic infrastructure
The state has other strategic interests to explain the need for deep-sea exploration. The military must monitor strategic infrastructure (telecommunication cables, pipelines, etc.), search for the remains of sensitive equipment, or detect all kinds of “malicious systems.” For these missions at the heart of the “Mercator” project, the French navy is testing such machines. Drone AUV A18D d’ECA Group To monitor deep sea infrastructure.
Fear is real. Last August, an “oceanographic” ship with a small AS-37 submarine, a machine, set sail from Ireland. [Projet 16810], Was able to dive to a depth of 6000 meters. This Russian Navy spy ship The Celtic Norse, which connects Ireland with the United States, followed in the footsteps of the AEConnect-1 telecommunications submarine cables. 97% of global communications and financial transactions pass through them.
This is not the first as indicated New York Times In 2015, over the years, US intelligence agencies discovered a dramatic increase in Russian naval traffic on several cables providing global communications.
A national defense issue
On July 14, 2021, cyber or space, as already mentioned by Emmanuel Macron, the battle of the abyss is strategic. France is not alone in starting this new conflict zone. In addition to the Russians, the United States and China have already developed technologies (sensors, sonar, drones, etc.) dedicated to the deep sea. An article published by Science Po Defense and Strategy. Beijing recently took a dive with Fendoushe at a depth of 11,000 meters, An unoccupied submarine.
The problem of coastal exploration is undisputed for France. Eifremer even believes that the mistake was not to go there. It remains to be seen whether the 2 2 billion announced by the head of state will be enough to achieve France’s goal of becoming one of the world’s great powers.
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