some cases essential. Some major scientific objectives (e.g., global seismic coverage) will be achievable only through this kind of global cooperation.

The vision of establishing a global network of seafloor observatories holds tremendous promise for advancing our understanding of Earth and its oceans. The Committee recognizes that realizing this vision will be difficult and expensive, but based on examination of the important scientific questions that remain to be answered and the current state of technology, the Committee believes the time has come to take the first concrete steps.

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