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Human safety, prosperity depend on better ocean observing system: Scientists
Date:11/25/2007

Speedy diagnosis of the temper and vital signs of the oceans matters increasingly to the well being of humanity, says a distinguished partnership of international scientists urging support to complete a world marine monitoring system within 10 years.

The Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans (POGO) says warming seas, over-fishing and pollution are among profound concerns that must be better measured to help society respond in a well-informed, timely and cost-effective way.

A system for ocean observing and forecasting that covers the worlds oceans and their major uses can reduce growing risks, protect human interests and monitor the health of our precious oceans, says Dr. Tony Haymet, Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California San Diego, USA, and Chair of POGOs Executive Committee.

The world community resolved to construct a comprehensive, integrated ocean observing system two decades ago. The good news is we have demonstrated that a global ocean observing system can be built, deployed and operated with available technologies. Now we must move from experiment and proof-of-concept to routine use. We have progressed less than halfway to our initial goals. Lets complete the task before we are struck by more tsunamis or comparable calamities.

The cost of an adequate initial system would require a further investment roughly estimated at $2-3 billion, involving:

  • a stable network of satellites surveying vast extents of the surface of the oceans;
  • fixed stations taking continuous measurements on the seafloor or as floats and buoys moored in the water column and at the surface;
  • small robot submarine ocean monitors, some drifting with the currents, others motoring along programmed routes;
  • marine animals ingeniously outfitted with electronic tags that equip them to capture and transmit data about the environments they visit;
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Contact: Terry Collins
terrycollins@rogers.com
416-538-8712
University of California - San Diego
Source:Eurekalert

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