Map of OCS mooring sites.
With more than 70% of the Earth covered by oceans, global weather and climate are strongly affected by exchanges of heat and moisture between the ocean and the air. The mission of the Ocean Climate Stations Project (OCS) is to make meteorological and oceanic measurements from autonomous platforms. These reference time series and innovative measurements are used to improve satellite products and forecast models, and improve our understanding of air-sea interactions, and their role within the climate system.
Improved understanding of the climate system will help society adapt to climate variations and changes. Improved, more physically realistic forecast models will help reduce society's vulnerability to weather and climate extremes, preparing a weather-ready nation.
Two PMEL technicians sailed out of Yokohama, Japan on July 13th on a six-day mission to service the PMEL Ocean Climate Stations KEO mooring.
Located just south of the Kuroshio Extension Current off the coast of Japan, the KEO mooring has been in place since 2004. Equipped with meteorological and oceanographic sensors, the mooring measures the exchange of heat and moisture between the ocean and atmosphere. These exchanges affect the development of storms over the north Pacific before they reach the United States. Scientists also use the KEO data to improve hurricane predictions.
Once a year, technicians visit the site to refresh the mooring. A full set of fresh equipment is deployed. Gear that was out for the previous year is recovered, and refurbished for the following year. This has allowed the mooring to survive in very harsh conditions, providing an important climate data set for nearly 15 years.
By: Jennifer Keene