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The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) in South Africa is one of the leading scientific and technology research, development and implementation organisations in Africa. It undertakes directed research and development for socio-economic growth.

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Ocean gliders' deployment into the Southern Ocean a first for South Africa


In a first for the African continent, two long range autonomous ocean gliders were successfully deployed off the SA Agulhas II into the heart of the world's largest ocean current - the Antarctic Circumpolar Current - as part of a CSIR-led multi-institutional initiative to understand the link between climate and the carbon cycle in the Southern Ocean.

The Southern Ocean Carbon-Climate Observatory (SOCOO) programme leads South Africa's participation in an international experiment - the Southern Ocean Seasonal Cycle Experiment - in which measurements from ships and long-range ocean gliders will be combined, for the first time, to improve global understanding of the carbon-climate cycle in the Southern Ocean.

The vast Southern Ocean is one of the most important carbon-climate systems on Earth, with recent estimates being that 40% of all CO2 emitted are stored in the Southern Ocean However, currently it is also one of the most under-sampled.

Both gliders are now on a zig-zag sampling trajectory headed for the Good Hope line near the Greenwich Meridian. If all goes according to plan, the gliders are to be retrieved in January-February 2013. The international experiment will start in 2014.

Follow the near real-time progress of Seagliders 574 and 573. The current live subsurface data stream of the one glider can also be viewed.

 

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