Ocean observation climate change and disaster warning the context
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Ocean Observation, Climate Change and Disaster Warning: the Context. David Meldrum Consultant, IOC/UNESCO, Paris [email protected] Contents of presentation. Is climate changing? Ocean observing systems already in place Weather and climate Disaster warning

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Ocean Observation, Climate Change and Disaster Warning: the Context

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Ocean Observation, Climate Change and Disaster Warning: the Context

David Meldrum

Consultant, IOC/UNESCO, Paris

[email protected]


Contents of presentation

  • Is climate changing?

  • Ocean observing systems already in place

    • Weather and climate

    • Disaster warning

  • The challenges of the deep ocean

  • Opportunities for cable operators to make a difference


The evidence for climate change: global temperatures


The evidence for climate change: global sea level


Sea level rise: observed regional trends


Sea level rise: population vulnerability


The evidence for climate change: Arctic sea ice extent


Timescales of climate variability and the ocean


The evidence for climate change: deep ocean temperatures


GOOS: the Global Ocean Observing System


Examples of the instruments used


Moored instruments


Challenges of the deep ocean (compared to space)

  • Satellites can’t see below the sea surface

  • Instruments have to withstand high pressure and corrosion

  • No energy source (e.g. solar panels)

  • Difficult for communications and imaging


But it’s only skin deep!


Unusual deep seabed features?


No – they came from the red planet, not the blue planet!


Techniques for observing the deep ocean

  • Moorings

  • Landers

  • Lowered instruments

  • Acoustics

  • Cabled observatories

  • New oceanographers!


Disaster warning - tsunamis


Tsunami warning networks


Seismic activity

Not all seismic activity causes tsunamis


Japanese tsunami: predictions and observations

itic.ioc-unesco.org


Analysis centres generate warnings


Vandalism is a major problem


Cables offer a solution

  • Vandal-proof in the deep ocean

  • Instantaneous communications

  • Energy source

  • Next generation commercial repeaters to include built-in tsunami sensors?

  • Why not other sensors as well?

    • Ocean properties such as temperature and salinity

    • Seismometry

    • Passive acoustics


Passive acoustics has been used from cables before

Blue whale migrations using SOSUS


Ocean acoustic pollution is a major issue

IOC, Paris, Sept 2011


Conclusions

  • The deep ocean is poorly observed

  • Next generation cable repeaters could make a major impact

  • Important climate variables could be measured

  • Acoustic sensors would cast new light on marine mammals

  • Cables offer the ideal solution for tsunami warning

    • Vandal resistant

    • Instant communications

    • Energy available

    • Could be a business opportunity

    • Or why not just be green and eco-friendly and improve your image!

  • Suggestion: establish a small enthusiastic group to sketch out a limited pilot project


Cables are the future!

Thank you!

TAT-1, Oban, Scotland


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