Methods and Equipment Utilized in Measuring Ocean Temperatures
The original method of recording ocean temperature from a ship was to throw a canvas bucket over the side. It was allowed to sink into the seawater and on recovery; the temperature was taken and recorded.
Nowadays, more modern methods are used and we shall examine three of these high tech methods especially developed to record ocean temperatures:
1. Moored Buoys
Moored buoys are used to measure the meteorology of the surface above the ocean; wind, air temperatures and rainfall. They also have underwater probes that record the temperature, salinity and currents of the ocean, sinking and rising in depths of around 800 yards.
The buoys are located in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans, from where the recorded data is transmitted by satellite to oceanographers worldwide.
2. Ships Of Opportunity Program (SOOP)
A number of cargo ships sailing through the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, have been contracted by SOOP to record the seawater temperatures and salinity over the vast expanses of these oceans. They record this data through the use of thermosalinographs, instruments mounted in the cooling water inlets of the ships' engine rooms.
The data is then transmitted worldwide by satellite to interested parties.
3. Thermal Gliders
Thermal gliders are a recent addition to the methods of measuring and recording ocean temperatures, operating on renewable thermal energy supplied by the ocean.
A prototype has been successfully tested in the Caribbean, having travelled for several months and thousands of miles underwater.
When operational the thermal glider will record sea temperature and salinity at various depths through sensors in its nosecone. At the end of the exercise, the thermal glider will rise to the surface, signal its location, and transmit recorded data by satellite to oceanographers worldwide.
References on the Web:
1. argus - methods and equipment used in monitoring of ocean temperatures.
2. Jamstec - temperature monitoring buoys
3. oceanus – thermal gliders.