Buoys and floats with the ability to collect data are scattered through out the world’s oceans in order to gain a better understanding of how the oceans work and how they are changing. The data is being used for monitoring chemical levels in the oceans, garnering accurate ocean temperatures and change in temperature, and many other endless uses. Each dot on this visualization represents a buoy or float, and each color indicates the use of the instrument. The buoy network is still expanding past what can be seen on this visualization.
The green colored dots are floats in the Argo network. By the end of 2006, 3000 Argo floats are scheduled to be located worldwide. These are deep-water floats that record continuous data from over 6500ft below sea level up to the surface. The yellow and blue dots are maintained by NOAA. These include both traditional buoys, but also C-MAN (Coastal-Marine Automated Network) stations. Most of the buoys are located off of the shores of the United States and provide data for the NOAA Marine Environmental Buoy Database. The C-MAN stations are located on piers, offshore towers, lighthouses, and beaches. These buoys and stations record parameters such as wind speed and direction, wave height, pressure, air temperature, and sea surface temperature. The red dots are buoys in the Deep Ocean Assessment and Reporting of Tsunamis (DART) Project, which is an ongoing effort to maintain and improve the capability for the early detection and real-time reporting of tsunamis in the open ocean. Finally, the purple dots are buoys used in the Tropical Atmosphere Ocean, TAO/TRITON, project. This project is dedicated to El Nino and La Nina. Notice that the buoys are arranged in parallel lines in the ocean where this phenomenon tends to occur.
C1 Patterns. Students recognize that macroscopic patterns are related to the nature of microscopic and atomic-level structure. They identify patterns in rates of change and other numerical relationships that provide information about natural and human designed systems. They use patterns to identify cause and effect relationships, and use graphs and charts to identify patterns in data.
C7 Stability and Change. Students explain stability and change in natural or designed systems by examining changes over time, and considering forces at different scales, including the atomic scale. Students learn changes in one part of a system might cause large changes in another part, systems in dynamic equilibrium are stable due to a balance of feedback mechanisms, and stability might be disturbed by either sudden events or gradual changes that accumulate over time
C1 Patterns. Students observe patterns in systems at different scales and cite patterns as empirical evidence for causality in supporting their explanations of phenomena. They recognize classifications or explanations used at one scale may not be useful or need revision using a different scale; thus requiring improved investigations and experiments. They use mathematical representations to identify certain patterns and analyze patterns of performance in order to re-engineer and improve a designed system.
C7 Stability and Change. Students understand much of science deals with constructing explanations of how things change and how they remain stable. They quantify and model changes in systems over very short or very long periods of time. They see some changes are irreversible, and negative feedback can stabilize a system, while positive feedback can destabilize it. They recognize systems can be designed for greater or lesser stability
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. Water cycles among land, ocean, and atmosphere, and is propelled by sunlight and gravity. Density variations of sea water drive interconnected ocean currents. Water movement causes weathering and erosion, changing landscape features.
ESS2.D Weather & Climate. Complex interactions determine local weather patterns and influence climate, including the role of the ocean.
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Mapping the history of natural hazards in a region and understanding related geological forces can help forecast the locations and likelihoods of future events, such as volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and severe weather.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change. Human activities affect global warming. Decisions to reduce the impact of global warming depend on understanding climate science, engineering capabilities, and social dynamics.
PS4.A Wave Properties. A simple wave model has a repeating pattern with a specific wavelength, frequency, and amplitude, and mechanical waves need a medium through which they are transmitted. This model can explain many phenomena including sound and light. Waves can transmit energy
PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Waves can be used to transmit digital information. Digitized information is comprised of a pattern of 1s and 0s.
ESS2.C The Roles of Water in Earth's Processes. The planet’s dynamics are greatly influenced by water’s unique chemical and physical properties.
ESS2.D Weather & Climate. The role of radiation from the sun and its interactions with the atmosphere, ocean, and land are the foundation for the global climate system. Global climate models are used to predict future changes, including changes influenced by human behavior and natural factors
ESS3.B Natural Hazards. Natural hazards and other geological events have shaped the course of human history at local, regional, and global scales. Human activities can contribute to the frequency and intensity of some natural hazards.
ESS3.D Global Climate Change. Global climate models used to predict changes continue to be improved, although discoveries about the global climate system are ongoing and continually needed.
PS4.A Wave Properties. The wavelength and frequency of a wave are related to one another by the speed of the wave, which depends on the type of wave and the medium through which it is passing. Waves can be used to transmit information and energy.
PS4.C Information Technologies and Instrumentation. Large amounts of information can be stored and shipped around as a result of being digitized.