August 28, 2012 4:13 PM   Subscribe

Have you ever wondered what the water temperature off the Kamchatka Peninsula is? What about the wind speed in the Andaman Sea? Or maybe you’re losing sleep over the chlorophyll levels in the South Pacific. Fortunately, all of that information –- and 450 million other data points collected from oceanographic instruments around the world –- is freely and easily accessible thanks to the Marinexplore project.

The free sign-up asks you to specify an e-mail address, an "area of expertise", and "software skills". If you don't mind providing those - or at least making them up - this is a super-neat demonstration of what the Web can do.
posted by Egg Shen (3 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
I haven't had a chance to look at this site yet but the screenshot shows that one of the sources of data are the Argo floats. It's a huge international effort to map currents and water quality data over the whole ocean. This page has a simple map that updates daily with the last known locations of the current fleet of sensors. The data is all freely available, though as the guy behind Marinexplore notes that much raw data can be impossible to dig through for most mortals.

I got a tour of the UW workshop where a lot of the floats are built, and it's cool to see how the floats have progressed over time. As reliability and battery technology has improved scientists have crammed more and more sensors onto the floats, though my favorite bit is still the way they change their density by pumping mineral oil in and out of a bladder on the exterior of the floats (the bladder's in red at the bottom of this diagram).
posted by edeezy at 5:41 PM on August 28, 2012 [2 favorites]

don't know about kamchatka, but new orleans has depth sensors in city park that are very interesting to me just now.
posted by eustatic at 8:45 PM on August 28, 2012

Very cool.
posted by rmd1023 at 4:59 PM on August 29, 2012

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