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Oceanology International 2016 in Review

In its 47-year history, the Oceanology International 2016 (OI2016) had its largest show ever with an overall attendance of 14,161. The event was held on March 15-17 in London’s ExCel, the exhibition covered 8,500 meters squared occupied by 520 exhibiting companies from 33 countries. In addition to the exhibits, the conference streams over the three days dealt with a wide array of marine topics: Aquaculture; Green shipping; Handling big data; Hydrography, Geophysics and Geotechnics; Marine renewables; Marine technology and services sector role in the Blue Economy; Monitoring structural integrity understanding risk and reliability; Oil & Gas: What’s next for ageing offshore assets?; Positioning & metrology; and the Unmanned vehicles and vessels showcase. OI curators hope to replicate the success of OI2016 for upcoming events in China (9-11 November, Shanghai) and San Diego (14-16 February).

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Massive Network of Robotic Ocean Probes Gets Smart Upgrade

The US $21-million Southern Ocean Carbon and Climate Observations and Modeling Project (SOCCOM) is deploying almost 200 advanced probes to monitor several chemical and biological variables in the Southern Ocean. The advanced probes will be added to an existing international Argo network of 3,900 floats; the floats periodically dive to depths of 2,000 meters measuring temperature and salinity. In hopes to extent the 2,000 meter limit, NOAA has developed a Deep Argo project to monitor ocean variables down to 6,000 meters. Nine Deep Argo floats have been deployed south of New Zealand in January and similar pilot arrays have been planned in the Indian Ocean and the North Atlantic.

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New GCOOS Data Portals announced during White House Water Summit

Today in conjunction with World’s Water Day and the White House Water Summit, the Gulf of Mexico Coastal Ocean Observing System (GCOOS) announces the launch of two new data portals: the Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal and Citizen Science Data Portal. The Hypoxia-Nutrient Data Portal, developed in partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Alliance, assimilates information from multiple sources to encourage informed decisions concerning nutrient inputs and hypoxia impacts. The Citizen Science Data Portal will act as a cost-effective data aggregator for the many citizen scientists and groups monitoring environmental conditions within the Gulf region.

GCOOS is a Regional Association in support of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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New Polar Challenge for observing announced at Arctic Science Summit Week

This week, the World Climate Research Programme and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation launched a challenge for the development of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) with the capability to complete missions under the sea ice in the Polar regions. The aim of the challenge, which includes prize money totaling 500,000 Swiss francs ($511,000), is to stimulate the innovation of new monitoring tools for the polar oceans, to complement satellite observations and ultimately expand scientific research capabilities and climate services in both the Arctic and Antarctic. Currently operational AUVs, in ice-free zones, are able to collect a wide range of oceanographic observations; however, sea ice poses a major issue for accurate data collection in these models. The Polar Challenge hopes to evoke innovative models which could overcome those challenges and change current climate research in the Polar regions.

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MARACOOS Observations and models used to forecast hurricane intensity

Recently published, Rutgers University-led study utilized Mid-Atlantic Regional Association Coastal Ocean Observing System (MARACOOS) data to incorporate coastal water conditions into predicating storm intensities. Data from the observations were fed into ocean and atmospheric models to quantify the role of baroclinic processes during tropical cyclone events.  The scientists emphasize the importance of coastal baroclinic observations to coastal populations with sea level rise and migration of tropical storms steadily increasing.

MARACOOS is a Regional Association in support of the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System (IOOS®).

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