Yesterday, Robert Niemeyer, our NOAA representative on board, assisted students in dropping a weather drifter into the water. These drifters are dropped into the water in various areas and are then part of The Global Drifter Program. This program maintains a global 5×5 degree array of 1,250
drifters. The data is collected by satellites and then processed and placed into the Global Telecommunications System for distribution and use, including weather forecasting. The drifter’s data consists of short-term climate predictions along with climate research and monitoring. These were used during the Fukashima earthquake and the Deep Water Horizon oil spill to track surface current speed and direction to improve forecasts of debris and oil dispersion. Students were thrilled to be a part of this launch and even got to sign their names on the drifter!
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