“Over the years as all the data starts to accumulate, we’re learning more and more about the oceans,” he said. That data will be made available to research institutions and schools for free, and will help lead to better oceanic modelling, said George Matsumoto, a senior education and research specialist at MBARI. Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
At the MBARI lab, team members have been busy calibrating each of the sensors, which will measure acidity, or pH levels, salinity, temperature, pressure, oxygen and nitrate. Johnson said the sensors help survey a larger portion of the ocean more consistently than people collecting samples on ships, adding, “The goal is to be able to monitor the health of the ocean in places where people only go once a decade.”
The measurements will be taken at a depth of 3,280 feet (1,000m), where the float will drift in weaker currents for a little over a week. The float will then descend to 6,500 feet before surfacing and transmitting its data to shore via satellite. The entire trip will take about 10 days. “The ocean is extremely important to the climate, to the sustainability of the earth, its supply of food, protein to enormous numbers of people. We don’t monitor it very well,” said Ken Johnson, GO-BGC’s project director and a senior scientist at the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) in Moss Landing, California.
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