Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



Southern Ocean Seals Dive Deep For Climate Data

The tag on an elephant seal on South Georgia. Image credit - Dr Martin Biuw
by Staff Writers
Canberra, Australia (SPX) Aug 13, 2008
According to a paper published by a team of French, Australian, US and British scientists in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, elephant seals fitted with special oceanographic sensors are providing a 30-fold increase in data recorded in parts of the Southern Ocean rarely observed using traditional ocean monitoring techniques.

"They have made it possible for us to observe large areas of the ocean under the sea ice in winter for the first time," says co-author Dr Steve Rintoul from the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystem Cooperative Research Centre (ACE CRC) and CSIRO's Wealth from Oceans National Research Flagship.

"Conventional oceanographic platforms cannot provide observations under the sea ice, particularly on the Antarctic continental shelf where the most important water mass transformations take place. Until now, our ability to represent the high-latitude oceans and sea ice in oceanographic and climate models has suffered as a result."

Co-author, University of Tasmania Professor Mark Hindell says the seal data complements traditional oceanographic sampling from ships, satellites and drifting buoys. "By providing ocean measurements under the sea ice, the seals are helping us to establish the global ocean observing system we need to detect and understand changes in the ocean," he says.

The polar regions play an important role in the earth's climate system and are changing more rapidly than any other part of the world.

In the southern hemisphere, the limited observations available suggest that the circumpolar Southern Ocean has warmed more rapidly than the global ocean average and that the dense water formed near Antarctica and exported to lower latitudes has freshened in some locations and warmed in others.

Polar changes are important because a number of feedbacks involving ocean currents, sea ice and the carbon cycle have the potential to accelerate the rate of change.

The seals typically covered a distance of 35-65 kilometres a day with a total of 16,500 profiles obtained in 2004-5. Of these, 8,200 were obtained south of 60S, nine times more than have been obtained from floats and research and supply ships.

The 4,520 profiles obtained within the sea ice is a 30-fold increase over conventional data. The seals dived repeatedly to a depth of more than 500 metres on average and to a maximum depth of nearly 2000m. The Australian team included scientists from CSIRO, the ACE CRC, the University of Tasmania's School of Zoology and Centre for Marine Science and Charles Darwin University.

Community
Email This Article
Comment On This Article

Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Centre for Australian Weather and Climate Research (CAWCR)
Climate Science News - Modeling, Mitigation Adaptation



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


Climate Change May Be Pushing Birds Move Farther North
Syracuse NY (SPX) Aug 12, 2008
A study by researchers at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) has documented, for the first time in the northeastern United States, that a variety of bird species are extending their breeding ranges to the north, a pattern that adds to concerns about climate change.







  • Teacher sent to labour camp for China quake photos
  • China insurers expect 1.5 bln dlrs in snow, quake claims: officials
  • Over 600,000 evacuated as tropical storm hits China: reports
  • Japanese say careful preparations saved them from quake

  • Carbon Disclosure Project Helps US Cities Understand Local Climate
  • Southern Ocean Seals Dive Deep For Climate Data
  • Climate Change May Be Pushing Birds Move Farther North
  • Climate Change: When It Rains It Really Pours

  • Global Air Quality Checks Delivered Hourly From Space
  • Tropical Storm Edouard Steams Toward Texas And Louisiana
  • ESA Meets Increasing Demand For Earth Observation Data
  • Ocean Surface Topography Mission/Jason 2 Begins Mapping Oceans

  • Johnson Controls To Improve Energy Usage At Oak Ridge National Labs
  • ACCIONA Launches 180 MW Tatanka Wind Farm
  • Air Products' Mobile Hydrogen Fueler Technology Supports Hydrogen Tour '08
  • Future Fuels Gallery Created At Detroit Science Center

  • War on AIDS: Money nightmare seems set to return
  • UN target of 2010 will not be reached by all: AIDS leaders
  • Former Soviet states at AIDS tipping point: experts
  • Back to basics in search for HIV vaccine, conference told

  • A Swift Drop Into Deep Freeze
  • Details Of Historic Mass Extinction Of Amphibians
  • Microbes, By Latitudes And Altitudes, Shed New Light On Life's Diversity
  • Humans Involved In Prehistoric Animal Extinctions

  • Strange Molecule In The Sky Cleans Acid Rain
  • Papuan tribal chief takes on US mining giant: report
  • Scientists To Assess Beijing Olympics Air Pollution Control Efforts
  • Indonesia warns over forest fires on Borneo

  • CSHL Neuroscientists Glimpse How The Brain Decides What To Believe
  • Large Reservoir Of Mitochondrial DNA Mutations Identified In Humans
  • Genetic Variations In European Americans
  • Humans' Evolutionary Response To Risk Can Be Unnecessarily Dangerous

  • The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2007 - SpaceDaily.AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement