Global network of robots submerged

Photo/Bob Tkacz/For the Journal

A global network of 3,000 underwater robots is now measuring how oceans influence fisheries productivity and the world’s climate.

According to the Asia Pulse, the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization announced completion of the so-called Argo program in Tasmania. Australian scientists deployed 144 of the world’s first Argos between Australia and Indonesia in 1999. The robots will be able to research oceans that have never been measured before due to their remoteness and stormy conditions.

The four-foot tall Argo deep-sea divers measure temperature and salinity in the upper mile and a half of oceans around the globe, and surface every 10 days to upload the data to a satellite. Data canters in France and California analyze the information by climate.

The information has already helped researchers track how fast and where the ocean is warming due to greenhouse gases, and aided in ocean forecasting. Scientists said the Argo project would allow them to solve some of the big climate questions, as well as provide insight into how the ever-changing ocean weather affects marine ecosystems.

The $905 million project is funded by 26 countries. The report said the U.S. has committed to maintaining half of the robots for the next four years, with other contributing countries covering the remainder.

Laine Welch, who lives in Kodiak, can be reached via e-mail at [email protected].

12/03/2016 - 11:39pm