Technology and data

What technology are used to observe and interact with the oceans?

Long-term in situ monitoring of the open ocean and shelf seas remains a basic, yet essential way to provide high quality, high resolution data on climatically and ecologically relevant variables.

Fixed-point ocean observatories are one essential tool used by oceanographers to observe and interact with our oceans. Observatories are an integral part of monitoring the marine environment, because they provide the perspective of time to ocean data. Positioned at key locations in the oceans, they measure seawater properties in situ, all the way down from the sea surface to the seafloor.


Image from www.oceansites.org

What data are produced?

The observatories produce a continuous stream of high quality data on climatically and ecologically relevant variables at a number of key locations. These data sets are essential to:

These high temporal resolution data sets are used to produce more accurate computer models, allowing scientists to understand the complex system of the oceans and predict future changes.

Scientists need this information to understand oceanic processes at local, regional and global scales and predict future climate change using increasingly more accurate models.

Policy makers, production industries (e.g. fisheries, agriculture), service industries (e.g. insurance) and society at large can then use this information on longer term trends and future predictions to form mitigation plans to prepare society for future changes to our climate and oceans.