A Network Of Sensors Off Australia Is Watching For Signs Of Extreme Ocean Events

Lady Elliot Island. Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

A network of sensors at nine reference sites off the Australian coast is providing the physical, chemical, and biological information to help scientists better understand Australia’s coastal seas.

Researchers say that sensors collect data including temperature, salinity, nutrients, carbon, currents, and the presence of plankton, and can aid in the observation of extreme events such as marine heat waves and plankton blooms.

A details of the network are revealed in a study in the journal PLOS ONE by Tim Lynch from the CSIRO and colleagues.

The network builds on three long-term locations, where monthly water sampling has been ongoing since the 1940s and 1950s.

Dr Lynch, of the CSIRO’s Oceans and Atmosphere Flagship, said: “For the first time in Australia, we have combined forces across our various marine institutes and research organisations to build a continent-wide sampling of our coastal seas and ecosystems, so we can continuously track and understand variation at daily, seasonal, and annual time scales.”

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