One of eight scientific projects planned for their 13-month expedition around the Americas, the crew of Ocean Watch successfully deployed three NOAA Global Drifter Program buoys. The buoys are the key components in the International Arctic Buoy Program (IABP) and coordinated by Dr. Ignatius Rigor, research scientist at the University of Washington’s Applied Physics Laboratory Polar Science Center.
The buoys, 45 pounds each, will be tracked by satellite. They are equipped with sensors to measure air pressure and surface temperature &mdash data critical to weather and ice forecasters.
Since 1979, the IABP has deployed nearly 1,000 buoys. In 2008, data collected from the buoys played an instrumental role in having the polar bear placed on the endangered species list. For more information on the Ocean Watch expedition visit www.AroundTheAmericas.org.