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Lesson 12: Technology I Technology matters Most of the topics we’ve learned so far rely on measurement and observation: – Ocean acidification – Salinity.

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Presentation on theme: "Lesson 12: Technology I Technology matters Most of the topics we’ve learned so far rely on measurement and observation: – Ocean acidification – Salinity."— Presentation transcript:


2 Lesson 12: Technology I

3 Technology matters Most of the topics we’ve learned so far rely on measurement and observation: – Ocean acidification – Salinity – Currents – Wind speed and direction – Sea surface temperature 2

4 Technology matters Scientists use many instruments for these measurements and observations Today we’ll learn about: – Satellites – CTD & sonde – Buoys – Drifters – Niskin bottle 3

5 Different types of satellites Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite (POES) – Orbit from pole to pole about 14.1 times per day – Key for providing weather forecasts Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellites (GOES) – Match Earth’s rotational speed so that they appear to hover over a single, fixed spot on Earth – Key for predicting and monitoring storms (e.g., hurricanes) Satellites capture visible imagery and can be used to measure sea surface temperature, sea surface height, presence of chlorophyll and wind patterns 4

6 Image from a GOES Satellite These Earth-orbiting spacecraft can monitor: – Hurricanes and tropical storms – Sea surface temperature – Salinity – Phytoplankton blooms This photo of Tropical Storm Ida was taken by a NOAA Satellite on 11/9/09 5

7 Satellites are also used to study climate change and sea-level rise Just as the land surface has hills and valleys, so does the ocean surface Ocean surface topography refers to the overall shape of the sea surface – Scientists use satellites to measure sea surface heights on a global scale and study ocean surface topography – Data on sea surface topography help scientists study and model ocean circulation, climate change, hurricanes and sea-level rise 6

8 Recent missions to measure ocean surface topography from space Topex/Poseidon: Joint U.S./French mission (1992 – 2005) Jason-1: Joint U.S./French mission launched 2001, Still in operation (April 2011) Ocean Surface Topography Mission (OSTM)/Jason-2: Joint U.S./French mission launched in 2008; Still in operation (April 2011) 7

9 Estimates of sea level rise 1992 - 2010 (using data from Jason 2 satellite and its predecessors) Based on this image, how much is sea level rising off the U.S. east coast on average per year? 2-3 mm/yr 8

10 Ocean color can also be measured from space Instruments aboard satellites can measure ocean color Examples – MODIS (aboard Terra & Aqua satellites) – SeaWiFS (aboard SeaStar satellite) Ocean color can help scientists study – Phytoplankton (small ocean plants) – Global biogeochemistry – Climate variability Phytoplankton Bloom about size of Wisconsin in Barents Sea Photo: MODIS, 2007 9

11 Coming soon - salinity from space Scheduled to launch in 2011 The Satellite Aquarius will be used to measure ocean salinity Scientists install the flight harness for Aquarius in the “Clean Room” Photo: NASA 10

12 Remote and “in situ” measurement So far the technology we have seen measure the ocean remotely from space – What do you think are the advantages of taking measurements so far away from the ocean? Other devices sample the ocean “in situ” or in the actual ocean – What do you think are the advantages of in situ measurement? Both measurement types have advantages and they are often used to complement one another 11

13 Niskin bottle Used to collect water samples at specific depths Samples are removed from the bottle and analyzed Scientists can then determine the ocean chemistry of the water Photo: NOAA 12

14 CTD A CTD measures Conductivity, Temperature and Depth, which can be used to calculate salinity A CTD is typically deployed on a frame with several Niskin bottles for water sampling at different depths The full instrument (CTD and niskin bottles) is called a rosette A sonde looks similar to a CTD but is more complex and can also be used to measure pH, DO, temperature and turbidity CTD rosette loaded with Niskin bottles Photo: NOAA 13

15 Data buoys Located in nearshore areas close to lighthouses, piers, and beaches as well as in offshore areas Collect data on weather, wind, waves, and other variables 6-Meter Buoy prior to deployment. Source: NOAA National Data Buoy Center This map shows NOAA buoys in the mid-Atlantic region Photo: NOAA 14

16 DART: NOAA’s U.S. tsunami warning system Deep ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis A network of buoys provides NOAA researchers with data about tsunamis that could possibly impact the U.S., its territories and other areas of the world NOAA DART buoy locations Photo: NOAA 15

17 Drifters Simple device suspended a few feet below the water surface, attached to 4 small floats Measures current data, which is sent to a polar satellite and then relayed to a monitoring station They can be used to study wind, temperature, pressure, ocean color, salinity, and plankton Photo: NOAA Shallow-water drifters float on the surface and are carried through currents by their blue “sails” 16

18 Technology in action In today’s student activity, we will look at ocean temperature data to identify the presence of hydrothermal vent communities 17

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