National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration
United States Department of Commerce

PMEL Mooring Begins its 14th Year of Climate Monitoring in the North Pacific

Patrick Berk servicing an Ocean Climate Station. Photo credit: Nathan Anderson

July 13, 2017

Two PMEL technicians sailed out of Yokohama, Japan aboard the M/V Bluefin 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.

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