The NOC is working on a global research project with teams from NASA Oceans and WHOI (Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution) to assist the NASA-led EXPORTS programme and WHOI’s Ocean Twilight Zone project.
Scientists from NASA have headed out on the NOC-operated RRS Discovery to the Porcupine Abyssal Plain Sustained Observatory (PAP-SO) in the North Atlantic, where the NOC will deploy a UK underwater glider alongside two US gliders which will remain onsite when RRS Discovery returns to Southampton. The gliders will repeatedly dive to 1000 m measuring temperature, salinity, oxygen, phytoplankton pigments and particle abundance. Data from the gliders and the PAP-SO mooring will help the US teams in refining the plans for their major field campaign. Once back in Southampton the NOC PAP-SO team will begin the task of converting their new observations and samples in to the hard data that are needed to study the changing Atlantic Ocean, climate regulation and ocean services, and to assess how the ocean will evolve as a result of climate change and intensified human exploitation.
You can follow the expedition by searching #NASAExports on all the usual social media channels. In this clip from WHOI you can see all three research ships involved in the expedition working together.