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Taking the temperature of the ocean by measuring the speed of sound waves passing through it

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Taking the temperature of the ocean by measuring the speed of sound waves passing through it

Credit: CC0 Public Domain A team of researchers from the California Institute of Technology and the Chinese Academy of Sciences has developed a way to detect changes in ocean temperatures by measuring sound waves generated by underwater earthquakes. In their paper published in the journal Science , the group describes how their system works and how well it worked when tested.

As the planet heats up due to global warming , scientists continue to study its impact. One such area of research involves the oceans. Some models have suggested that the world’s oceans absorb approximately 90 percent of the excess heat produced due to greenhouse gasses. Unfortunately, because the ocean is so vast and because of the number of variables involved, scientists do not know how much warmer the ocean as a whole has grown.

Back in the 70’s, a team at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography proposed the idea of sending sound waves through the water to measure how much heat was in it using a technique they called ocean acoustic tomography. It was based on the idea that warm water transmits sound waves faster than cooler water. It was noted at the time that the technique could be used […]

read more here —> phys.org