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National Academy of Marine Research Launches Arctic Ocean Science Research - Real-Time Observation of Micro-Buoys on Ocean Surfaces
Date:2021-09-01
Unit:Marine Science and Information Research Center

  The National Academy of Marine Research (NAMR), the College of Earth Sciences of the National Central University and Nicolaus Copernicus University of Poland have agreed on an international cooperative research in Arctic marine science. The ocean surface micro-buoy real-time observation data collected will be applied to the study of arctic ocean currents, sea surface temperatures and wave effects on Arctic ice melt, as well as other important ocean issues.
  The multinational collaborative research site is located in the Fram Strait (one of the waterways between the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic Ocean) on the north side of the Greenland Sea, where eight ocean surface micro-buoys will drift northward into the Arctic Ocean with the West Spitsbergen Current (a branch of the North Atlantic Current) in a crisscross pattern. The micro-buoys will commence data transmissions in real time through satellite communication starting on Aug 28, and the NAMR can monitor first-hand Arctic ocean information on the premises, such as sea surface temperature, current and wave observation information along the drifting path. Preliminary observations show that the surface temperature of the sea is about 7-7.5 degrees Celsius, which is on a warming trend compared with the average temperature of 6.75-6.9 degrees Celsius in August last year (2020). The current speed remains moderate about 0.2-0.6 meters per second and continues to drift northward. The surface waves are about 1.5-3 meters, which is a relatively volatile swell and will be monitored continuously to understand the long-term changes of walrus and ice melt characteristics.
  NAMR President Chiu Yung-Fang pointed out that the Arctic sea ice can reflect sunlight and heat, playing an important role in regulating the Earth's temperature. With the gradual disappearance of sea ice, the heat energy will be absorbed by the ocean, resulting in temperature rise. Under the influence of global climate change, scientists have observed from  long-term satellite observation data that ice melts in Greenland have begun to rise steadily since 2000. This August (2021), Greenland, which is located in the Arctic Circle, was affected by abnormal weather, with the largest amount of rainfall recorded since 1950 and these warnings indicate that the rate of Arctic ice melt is accelerating. In the future, if large-scale ice melt occurs, sea levels may gradually rise, which will increase the risk of overflowing seawater in low-lying areas along the Taiwan coast. In addition, ice melt may also open up the Arctic Ocean shipping lanes, becoming another important route for global maritime shipping and transportation.
  NAMR will spearhead the monitoring of the Arctic marine environment through this international cooperation in marine science and collect basic hydrographic data to lead domestic polar marine science research. The results of the research will be used as a reference for the government to develop a polar ocean policy and a blue economy in the polar region. In addition to the polar international cooperation with Poland, NAMR will actively seek other possible collaboration partners in the future, so that Taiwan's polar marine research can be gradually connected to the world.

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  • Update: 2021-09-01
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National Academy of Marine Research