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

e and salinity conditions they pass through, while revealing their speed, heart rate, biodiversity hotspots, nurseries, and migratory routes that need protection (www.topp.org);

  • At-sea DNA sequencing of microbial, bacterial, and planktonic life forms, yielding real-time marine equivalents of "pollen counts";

  • The Continuous Plankton Recorder Survey (www.sahfos.ac.uk), which has been monitoring the Atlantic for almost 80 years. At a current cost of $6 million per year, the survey recently extended into the Arctic and Pacific, with plans underway to monitor plankton worldwide;

  • A growing network, NaGISA (www.nagisa.coml.org), of more than 200 sites around the world using standardized protocols to measure near-shore biodiversity and changes that climate and pollution could cause.

    To embrace the challenge of monitoring ocean life, world experts are formally puzzling through a recommended installation sequence; in other words, what, where and how many "life gauges" are top priorities in the proposed system.

    Moving forward

    The parts of the system now installed represent only a fraction of what's required for authoritative accuracy and global perspective, according to POGO. Needed are expansion of the array of the technologies above as well as:

    • So-called 'air-clippers': atmosphere and ocean surface sensors tethered to balloons with which scientists have achieved concurrent atmospheric and ocean measurements from within the eye of a strong cyclone where the balloons become trapped;

    • A suite of novel "Autonomous Reef Monitoring Structures," valued at $50 million -- dollhouse-like structures into which animals migrate for collection and analysis later. The ARMS devices allow for standardized global comparisons and monitoring of reef life and benthic biodivers
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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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