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Speed installation of system to monitor vital signs of global ocean, scientists urge
Date:10/31/2010

e intensity and location of severe weather events;

  • Early identification of pollution-induced eutrophication that spawns algal blooms responsible for health problems in humans and marine species, and harm to aquaculture operations;

  • Timely alerts of changes in distributions of marine life that would allow identification of areas needing protective commercial re-zoning, and of immigration by invasive species;

  • Minimized biodiversity loss on coral reefs, the importance of which, for species diversity, is comparable to that of the planet's rainforests.

    Says Dr. Suyehiro: "What happens in the world's oceans profoundly affects the success of life throughout the Earth. We now have remarkable and proven ground-based, ocean-drifting, air-borne and space-based technologies to measure and report changing ocean conditions quickly, often in real-time. The right kind of data streams from the ocean will help us forecast regime shifts in weather patterns over continents and their consequences for agriculture, fisheries, tourism and other sectors. The value of the knowledge within our reach - to human health, security and commerce - is overwhelmingly large relative to its cost."

    "The situation of scientists today is akin to that of a doctor schooled in the range of technologies that could record a patient's vital signs, sound an alarm when required, and suggest remedial options - if only we would make the investment."

    Says Tony Knap, Director of the Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences and a leader of POGO: "The top three meters of the oceans hold as much heat as Earth's atmosphere and changes in marine conditions are felt on land in profound ways. To obtain clear warning of weather-related disasters, we need to monitor oceans in an integrated, continuous and systematic manner. It will not be cheap, but it has to be done."

    Elements of the ocean monitoring system in place today include:

    Chemica
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  • Contact: Terry Collins
    tc@tca.tc
    416-538-8712
    Partnership for Observation of the Global Oceans
    Source:Eurekalert  

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