Gliders -4 Glider Data
I’m McKensie Daugherty, your host for On the Ocean. Gliders are instrument systems capable of covering incredible distances of ocean, taking measurements throughout. But what kind of things do they measure? Scientists have many questions about the composition of the ocean, and how that relates to oceanic and biological phenomena. As such, the gliders are formatted with a suite of instruments to take different kinds of measurements for the scientists needs. These measurements include data about temperature, salinity, dissolved oxygen concentration, chlorophyll, and dissolved organic carbon. The gliders can also be outfitted to gather data about nutrients (like nitrate), hydrocarbons (like oil and gas products), carbon dioxide, and sound. This information helps scientists make connections between what the ocean is made up of, how it reacts to change, and conclude whether it was caused by human impacts or natural variability. With this information, they can begin to assess ways in which to reduce this pollution. Deploying gliders each year can create a time series of this data, so researchers can monitor improvements recognize recovery systems that work best. Scientists at Texas A&M University use this data to understand oceanic phenomena such as hurricane intensification, oil spill movement, harmful algal blooms, hypoxia (which is little to no oxygen in the water), and other processes that can affect people’s lives. By studying these events, and the correlated factors that are unique to them, oceanographers can begin to use this information to make predictions and conclusions to help coastal and oceanic efforts. Overall Gliders provide incredible, multivariate data that can help answer many questions researchers have about the ocean. If you encounter a glider, remember not to approach it, it’s on a very important mission. This has been On the Ocean, a program made possible by the Department of Oceanography and a production of KAMU-FM on the campus of Texas A&M University in College Station. For more information and links, please go to ocean.tamu.edu and click On the Ocean.
More Information and Links:
Contributing Professor Dr. Steve DiMarco:
Page for Gliders that gather Hypoxia data: