New research finds that electromagnetic fields emitted by underwater power cables have little effect on marine communities off the coast of Santa Barbara, California.
There is a tremendous amount of renewable energy off the coast of the United States in strong ocean winds, currents, and waves. Submarine power cables can transport offshore energy back to land, but scientists are just beginning to understand how they might influence marine ecosystems. This week, at the American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Meeting, researchers from the University of California–Santa Barbara and the Bureau of Ocean Management presented findings from a study of marine communities around the seafloor cables. Their results are heartening for both marine ecosystems and advocates of offshore renewable energy.