The UK's National Oceanography Center has developed and launched three Autonomous Underwater Vehicles into the Atlantic Ocean to detect signs of climate change. The AUVs will profile the top 1,000 meters of the ocean from the Canary Islands to the west coast of Africa.
The battery-powered gliders are equipped with GPS and satellite communication technology and will transmit information on temperature, salinity and other current levels back to the center three times a day. Their main task is to monitor the heat circulation in the Atlantic that many scientists believe could slow down and, if it were to stop, could throw us into the next Ice Age.
These robots, if successful, will join a team of 25 other instruments that are continually monitoring data in locations throughout the Atlantic. The data these instruments are collecting will be able to tells us when changes occur and allow us to start planning a response more quickly if the worst seems to be on the way.
written by shihan mihiranga, June 24, 2010
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