NOC scientists are recently back from a cruise to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain observatory in the North Atlantic where they have testing a prototype camera system developed as part of SUMMER. We can hopefully report on that soon. It also gave us an excellent opportunity to produce a short film highlighting the mesopelagic. ‘The Twilight Zone’ spans the Earth beneath the sunlit surface waters of the ocean, extending from ~100m depth to 1000 m. This vast ecosystem is not only fascinating because of the diversity and often frankly weird forms of its inhabitants, but is also important for our climate as it mediates carbon storage via sinking particles, called ‘marine snow’. Check out this blog for more info on that: PAP-SO Arrival.

SUMMER is taking the lead in providing the information and understanding needed to inform a sustained approach to the Twilight Zone. The significance of this task is recognised even at the highest levels as the United Nations has endorsed a dedicated programme as part of the UN Ocean Decade for Sustainable Development. That programme is JETZON – Joint Exploration of the Twilight Zone Ocean Network). SUMMER is one of the founding members of JETZON. During this cruise, we made a short video to provide an introduction to the Twilight Zone, why we should care about it, and what sort of activities are planned by JETZON. We hope you enjoy it.

Text by Dr. Adrian Martin, JETZON