Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Automated North Pole Station Will Take The Pulse Of The Arctic Ocean

Date:
April 7, 2000
Source:
National Science Foundation
Summary:
An international scientific team supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will establish a research camp at the North Pole this month. The scientists will use the camp to lay the groundwork for a five-year project to take the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world's northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

An international scientific team supported by the National Science Foundation (NSF) will establish a research camp at the North Pole this month. The scientists will use the camp to lay the groundwork for a five-year project to take the pulse of the Arctic Ocean and learn how the world's northernmost sea helps regulate global climate.

James Morison of the University of Washington, the lead researcher for the North Pole Automated Station project, said the team will deploy a system of floating buoys this season and, eventually, devices anchored to the ocean floor to measure everything from the salinity of the water in the Arctic Ocean to the thickness and temperature layering of its ice cover.

"This will be the first time we've put such a congregation of drifting buoys at the North Pole," Morison said.

Researchers will return to the Pole repeatedly over several seasons to deploy additional buoys. Michael Ledbetter of NSF's Arctic System Science (ARCSS) program said that after the first year, the number of research projects will expand to cover a broad range of sciences. Morison added that for long-term observations, an automated station does the work of a manned platform, but at far less cost.

The new long-term scientific presence at the North Pole recognizes the importance of the Arctic in regulating global climate. Observations have shown that the Arctic Ocean has been affected in recent years by a rapid thinning of sea ice and shifts in ocean circulation. These changes are related to a pattern of change in the atmospheric circulation of the Northern Hemisphere -- known as the Arctic Oscillation -- which is roughly centered at the Pole.

The Arctic Ocean circulation and the water flowing from the Arctic into the Greenland Sea affect the deep overturning circulation of the Atlantic Ocean and thus play an important role in regulating climate, said Ledbetter.

NSF has committed more than $5 million over five years to support the project Morison's research team will oversee. This year, in addition to the University of Washington team, researchers from Oregon State University, Seattle's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory as well as the Japan Marine Science and Technology Center, and Canada's Met-Ocean Corp will participate.

Morison said the team will travel to the Pole early in April to begin deploying several drifting buoys to measure such variables as atmospheric pressure, temperature, wind, solar radiation, water temperature, salinity, ice temperature profiles, and ice thickness. Over the next year, the buoys will drift with the ice pack and are expected eventually to drift into the Greenland Sea.

He noted that the area around the North Pole is far from any landmass or observing stations. Even with the use of submarines and icebreakers it is difficult to obtain long-term measurements of temperature and other variables at the Pole. The drifting stations are designed to provide a mix of coverage over time and in a wide geographic area. Coverage will be enhanced in future years by instruments that will be moored to the sea floor. In the future, the new U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Healy -- an icebreaker equipped as a science platform -- also is expected to assist in deploying buoys.

"This station will really fill a hole in our scientific observations," Morison said. "The station, and others like it, will provide a set of data taken reliably over a long period as a benchmark for the study of climate change."

When the North Pole station begins operations, NSF's Office of Polar Programs will have a scientific presence at both Poles. The U.S. Antarctic Program operates three stations year-round in Antarctica, including Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Science Foundation. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Science Foundation. "Automated North Pole Station Will Take The Pulse Of The Arctic Ocean." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 April 2000. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000406090405.htm>.
National Science Foundation. (2000, April 7). Automated North Pole Station Will Take The Pulse Of The Arctic Ocean. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 28, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000406090405.htm
National Science Foundation. "Automated North Pole Station Will Take The Pulse Of The Arctic Ocean." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2000/04/000406090405.htm (accessed July 28, 2014).

Share This




More Earth & Climate News

Monday, July 28, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming

AP (July 28, 2014) AP Investigation: As the Obama administration weans the country off dirty fuels, energy companies are ramping-up overseas coal exports at a heavy price. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge from Nest

AP (July 27, 2014) A live-streaming webcam catches loggerhead sea turtle hatchlings emerging from a nest in the Florida Keys. (July 27) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Trees Could Save More Than 850 Lives Each Year

Newsy (July 27, 2014) A national study conducted by the USDA Forest Service found that trees collectively save more than 850 lives on an annual basis. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Phoenix Thunderstorm Creates Giant Wall of Dust

Reuters - US Online Video (July 26, 2014) A giant wall of dust slowly moves north over the Phoenix area after a summer monsoon thunderstorm. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins