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NOAA-led PIRATA Cruise Expands Sensors for Climate Prediction

NOAA-led PIRATA Cruise Expands Sensors for Climate Prediction

New Storymap Released!

On December 19, 2021 after nearly six weeks at sea, scientists aboard the NOAA ship Ronald H. Brown returned to land and docked in Praia, Cape Verde, completing the PIRATA (Prediction and Research Moored Array in the Tropical Atlantic) Northeast Extension (PNE) cruise. 

Researchers with NOAA’s Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological LaboratoryNOAA’s Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory, the University of Miami, and the Fearless Fund set sail from St. Petersburg, Florida on November 12th. Their goal was to service and collect data from four U.S. ocean buoys and one French buoy in support of the PNE project. The research team also deployed drifting buoys and Argo profiling floats along the way and recovered a Brazilian PIRATA buoy at 12N, 38W. The PNE cruise typically occurs annually, and the last cruise was in January and February of 2021. The science team on this cruise set records for the most moored buoys serviced during a PNE cruise (8!) and the most CTD casts performed (70!). Read the details of this successful mission on AOML’s website, and watch the story unfold with this interactive storymap.

PIRATA is a collaborative effort between Brazil, France, and the United States to study and improve predictability of ocean-atmosphere interactions in the tropical Atlantic. Air-sea interactions in this region have a large impact on weather and climate variability for surrounding countries and can be a determining factor in the prediction of extreme weather and ocean changes. The project is funded by NOAA’s Global Ocean Monitoring and Observation program and is motivated by the societal needs for improved prediction of weather and climate variability. PIRATA buoys provide critical data that are used to develop and improve predictive models of the Atlantic climate system, as well as used for ocean and weather prediction.