To fight climate change, should we mine the deep sea? USF wants to find out.

Ancient rocks lie across vast fields miles below the surface of the Pacific Ocean.

Far from people, but not entirely out of reach, they contain metals such as cobalt, used in batteries for technology like electric cars. They are numerous, about the size of meatballs or potatoes, and formed over millions of years.

These stones may hold a key to fighting climate change, according to a contingent of entrepreneurs who want to mine them. To wean the world off fossil fuels that worsen global warming, scientists say, will require a lot of batteries. That’s where the rocks could help.

But nothing is so simple in the abyss.

Opponents argue that rushing into deep-sea mining risks destroying a pristine wilderness, killing species that have lived free of human intrusion for millennia. They say miners would disrupt a habitat that might hold other value for society, potentially home to microbes that fight

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