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16.09.2013 23:19 Age: 4 yrs
Category: AATAMS

Sealing the fate of Antarctic Bottom Water

A fourth, new outflow of the Antarctic Bottom Water outflow into the world's oceans has been discovered, thanks to seals.

In February this year, Japanese and Australian oceanographers jointly announced a significant discovery for climate science in the journal Nature Geoscience-they had found a fourth outflow region of Antarctic Bottom Water into the world's oceans. The final piece of evidence was collected with the help of some unusual collaborators-seals.

The key set of data, which confirmed an outflow between the Australian research bases at Mawson and Davis, were gathered using Conductivity-Temperature-Depth (CTD) sensors attached to foraging seals as part of Australia's Tasmania-based Integrated Marine Observing System (IMOS). This information was then transmitted via satellite to Hobart and posted on the IMOS (imos.org.au) website.

Reproduced from Share, the newsletter of the Australian National Data Service.