Operational Ocean Observing
We observe and monitor the oceans from space, from the ocean surface, and from the deep oceans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We make and use measurements from satellites, ships, drifters and moorings of:
- Physical properties including ocean currents, sea level, temperature, salinity, and bottom pressure.
- Wave heights and directions
- Biological measurements including chlorophyll, phytoplankton and zooplankton.
- Nutrients including nitrate, phosphate, silicate, carbon compounds and iron.
Follow the links below for more information about some of our observing and monitoring systems.
- The Argo programme is a global array of around 3,000 drifting floats, measuring temperature and salinity from the ocean surface down to 2,000 m every ten days.
- Coastal Observatories: the Liverpool Bay Coastal Observatory is run by POL, and the Western Channel Observatory by PML, monitoring the oceans and marine ecosystems in these key coastal regions.
- The Marine Automatic Weather Stations measure meteorological parameters, ocean temperatures and wave height and period in the waters around the UK and Ireland.
- The NERC Earth Observations Data Acquisition and Analysis Service receives and processes data from polar orbitting satellites measuring ocean surface temperature and ocean colour.
- The Operational Sea Surface Temperature and Sea Ice Analysis system collects the many satellite measurements of ocean surface temperature and sea ice and uses them to produce a global, high resolution daily analysis.
(Last Updated: 15-04-2010)