Robots dive deep, making waves in weather forecasting

The National Oceanography Centre and the Met Office collaborate to utilise underwater gliders in the North Sea, aiming to improve weather forecasting accuracy

The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) and the Met Office have partnered to improve weather forecasting accuracy by deploying advanced underwater robots in the North Sea.

These sophisticated machines, operated by NOC engineers, gather crucial data on salinity and temperature, offering near real-time insights to the Met Office.

Over the next three years, this collaboration seeks to greatly enhance data collection and distribution in the North Sea, with the collected temperature and salinity data incorporated daily into Met Office forecast models.

Stephen Woodward, Engineering Manager, said: “The gliders we are providing are capable of operating independently for long periods of time whilst their cutting-edge sensors excel at gathering crucial information about the state of our oceans.

“Securing a better understanding of ocean circulation and the data gathering potential of gliders is a key driving factor behind the project.

“It will be vital to inform future ocean modelling conditions and weather patterns, and, in time, this will support decision making in vital UK services, such as search and rescue, counter-pollution and ocean biodiversity.”

OBS Network Manager at the Met Office, Jim Trice, said: “Understanding the relationship between the atmosphere and the ocean is key to improve understanding of weather and climate.

“This data has given us greater insight into vital aspects that form the weather systems that affect us every day.”

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