By the end of 2014, a team of scientists has deployed more than 100 robotic platforms in the ocean, including ice latitudes.
Seaglider was programmed to receive acoustic signals from underwater sources, which were lowered on ropes with buoys installed in the ice in certain places. They gave underwater drones accurate information about their latitude and longitude.
The source sent an acoustic signal to determine where in the water column under the ice surface is Seaglider. Due to this, scientists knew exactly where the drone makes measurements of temperature and salinity. Gradually, they measure temperature and salinity throughout the water column from the surface to a depth of one thousand meters.
The Navy analyze the data from studies in which scientists have launched Autonomous underwater vehicles (AUV) under ice in the Arctic ocean to assess the rate of melting of ice sheets and to understand how soon the US and Russia will join the competition for new shipping routes in the region.
The devices measure temperature and salinity, helping scientists to make more accurate computer models to predict the rate of ice melting in the future. About the same time last year in an interview with Scout Warrior told Advisor to the research Department of the Navy Martin Jeffries (Martin Jeffries).
Navy unveiled the "updated road map of the Arctic", which shows that because of rising temperatures and decreasing ice surface U.S. in the next 20 years will have to increase the number of warships in the region, said Jeffries.
As the melting of Arctic ice becomes more open water, and in these latitudes there are new waterways and shipping routes. The more they become, the more will be sea freight, and the stronger the competition for minerals such as oil and gas.
For this reason, scientists from the Navy with the help of Autonomous underwater vehicles, or drones, are studying the so-called boundary zone of ice, that is, the lane, where ocean solid ice meets open water, said Jeffries.
In addition to research using drones, scientists from the research Department of the Navy examining the impact of waves on the ice cover, water temperature and the surrounding atmosphere.
"Waves can have detrimental effects on the ice cover, when they fight on the ice. This speeds up the melting," said Jeffries.
The task of researchers is to study the rate of change in the Arctic environment and to predict more accurately the speed of melting ice. The faster ice melts, the more a new strategic sea lanes, passages in the ocean, and the more you begin to act in the countries of the region.
"We're seeing that sea ice is retreating as he cleaned more and more to the ocean surface. She comes into contact with the atmosphere, and surface waters become warmer, because it absorbs solar radiation," said Jeffries in an interview with Scout Warrior.
He explained the scientific basis of this phenomenon, describing the mechanism of the albedo, as it is called reflectivity of the ice surface. The ice on the surface reflectance is much higher, allowing it to reflect sunlight and solar radiation, directing it back into the atmosphere.
Jeffries said that the water is much darker, and she albedo — below. It absorbs much more solar radiation, which heats the water. And the water warming in turn causes more extensive melting of the ice.
Underwater drones become ice
Scientists from the Navy has made progress in the application of the Arctic Autonomous underwater vehicle Seaglider. This underwater robot weight of 50 kilograms and a length of 2.8 meters can able to join with their acoustic transducers to a depth of one thousand meters. Seaglider, developed and created in the research Department of the Navy to collect data in the ocean can also be used for collection of information under the ice, explained Jeffries.
By the end of 2014, a team of scientists has deployed more than 100 robotic platforms in the ocean, including ice-latitudes, the scientist said.
According to Jeffries, the Seaglider was programmed to receive acoustic signals from underwater sources, which were lowered on ropes with buoys installed in the ice in certain places. They gave underwater drones accurate information about their latitude and longitude.
The source sent an acoustic signal to determine where in the water column under the ice surface is Seaglider. Due to this, scientists knew exactly where the drone makes measurements of temperature and salinity. Gradually, they measure temperature and salinity throughout the water column from the surface to a depth of one thousand meters, explained Jeffries.
As summer ice getting smaller, the Arctic waters are more exposed to wind and sunlight. These factors further accelerate the melting of the ice, a researcher said.
Measuring the temperature of the water under the ice, scientists better understand how the effects of wind and sunlight affect the water in the ocean and increasing its temperature.
Knowing the exact temperature of the water under the ice surface and at depth, researchers gain valuable information about how the wind and sunlight water is mixed in the water column, which is usually clearly divided into layers of different temperature, and as the layer of warmer water rises to the top.
Currently, the area of the Arctic ocean are water currents of Pacific and Atlantic ocean. Warm Pacific ocean waters flow to the depth of 50 meters below the surface, and warmer water from the Atlantic ocean moved at the depth of 200-250 meters, said Jeffries.
The wind disturbs the stratification of the water, and warm water rises from the depths closer to the surface. This causes even more melting of ice.
According to Jeffries, the wind increases the turbulence in the water column, mixing layers and reduces stability. Because of this, warm water from the depths moves to the surface.
Tensions with Russia
The aggressive actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin in Ukraine increases the relevance of these studies, as the Russian Navy also intends to increase its presence in the Arctic. The emergence of new shipping routes in the Arctic ocean leads to the fact that the Russian ships will be able different routes and much faster to reach North America.
The biggest shipping route in the Arctic is the Northern sea route, and he passed through the ocean mainly parallel to the Russian border. Recently the courts in this way is becoming more.
In Russian there are many large icebreakers that escort the merchant ships, making their way in the ice. The Russians charge a fee for wiring icebreakers ships along the Northern sea route.
In a prepared Navy "road map" Arctic noted these threats, and says that in connection with the melting of the ice, the U.S. will need more ships in the Arctic region. It allows predictions about the rate of melting of ice, the Navy will be able to make plans for the number of ships, said Jeffries.
The Navy made changes to its "road map of Arctica" from 2009, including task analysis and details about the "readiness of the Navy" to the action in the Arctic, including search and rescue operations, Maritime safety, for the management, control, communication, data collection and computer processing of information, observation and exploration, the interaction with the US coast guard, on strategic Maritime transportation, strategic deterrence, and so on.
"The Arctic is warming two times faster than other parts of the globe. In forecasts about the rate of melting of Arctic ice is a lot of uncertainty, but the scientific community is unanimous indicates that in 2030-ies in summer, the Arctic sea ice will disappear almost completely," — said in the roadmap from 2009.
The working group of the Navy on climate change conducted its own evaluation and concluded that since the publication of this document, the rate of ice melting has increased. Therefore, in the updated road map outlines the latest scientific projections for changes to ice and water conditions in the Arctic.
American submariners in 1990-ies have reported the reduction of the thickness of the ice cover in the Arctic ocean, but since then the Arctic has undergone substantial changes, said last year the officer for public relations Oceanographic service of the Navy Robert Freeman (Robert Freeman).
The research Department of the Navy is also developing new techniques and technologies that will allow the fleet more effective in the waters of the Arctic ocean under conditions of low temperatures, snow, ice and fog.
Among the new developments there are technologies that provide more effective operation of weapons and detection devices in the Arctic environment, as well as special equipment that allows you to break the ice with superstructure of surface ships. In addition, work is underway on the creation of heating elements that are integrated into these structures, representatives of the Navy.
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