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Seals Aid in Global Warming Research

New Delhi, June 5 (G’nY News Service): Scientists have discovered a novel way of mapping the remotest corners of seas and oceans utilizing seals. Seals equipped with special sensors have been successful in gathering data from oceans that are assisting scientists to comprehend impacts of global warming around the oceans of the Antarctica.

An experiment conducted by a group of International scientists at the Macquarie University in Australia over the last decade have helped find new insights on global warming, ice covers, and even weather forecasting. Scientists equipped seals with special battery powered sensors that record and transmit measurements every second as they ascend from deep dives.

The information is then transmitted to a satellite in the form of an organised message which is sent back to be managed into standardised time and location information. Professor of Marine Ecology at Macquarie University said it was a bit like Twitter for these cute creatures as it contains a lot of compressed data. “As they’re diving, they are collecting information on the environment. When they come to the surface, they have an antenna on the head that flicks up just a compressed piece of information to satellites, which are then relayed back to us.” he said.

Seals Aid in Global

(Photo courtesy: www.engadget.com) 

The transmitted information is high-quality oceanographic data, and it is helping scientists actually view the Southern Ocean and its role in the world’s global conveyor belt system. According to the research group, changes in these oceans greatly influence global weather and climate and the data congregated aids researchers in detecting glacial movements and interpreting and responding to the changes.

To know about the viability of similar research in India, G’nY contacted a senior research scientist from Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), who, under terms of anonymity, informed us that satellite tagging for research purposes is not new to India. “We ourselves have experimented satellite tagging in tunas to know more about its migratory path and behaviour. It can be done with any aquatic creature provided it comes to the surface to facilitate satellite transmission. We don’t have seals in India but turtle can prove to be a good option,” he said.

The data collected in the experiment could be found uploaded in the newly launched “Marine Mammals Exploring the Oceans Pole To Pole” public portal.

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