SANTIAGO – A Chilean navy science vessel has installed a modern buoy to study the effects of climate change in the Pacific Ocean 1,500 kilometers (930 miles) off the country’s northern coast, navy officials said Monday.
The U.S.-made equipment was put in place off the northern city of Iquique by the navy’s Cabo de Hornos oceanographic vessel with the help of five U.S. scientists.
The floating buoy – which weighs 1.5 tons, took nine hours to put in place and was tethered to the ocean floor, which is about 5,000 meters (16,400 feet) deep – will allow experts to observe and learn about the interaction of the atmosphere and the ocean by gathering data on the currents in the intertropical convergence region.
“The information collected, which goes directly to a satellite, will be used to increase the understanding of the flows between air and ocean and the temperatures of the sea surface,” said the navy in a statement.
Also positioned in the vicinity were 23 small buoys made of cardboard that will measure the ocean temperature until they come to the end of their useful life and naturally disintegrate.
“These buoys of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are of maximum importance for studying climate change, as well as seeing how the winds at sea behave and their influence on the weather in coastal zones,” said Cabo de Hornos captain Carlos Gonzalez.