Electronic Jetsam

Electronic Jetsam

Ocean rovers explore the depths and monitor the environment

By Sid Perkins, 15:49 PM April 15, 2008

Twice each day at more than 1,100 sites around the world, scientists simultaneously loft weather balloons to collect data about Earth's atmosphere. During each balloon's ascent, which lasts a couple of hours or so, instruments garner information about air temperature, humidity, barometric pressure, wind speed, and wind direction. Meteorologists feed all of these data into their computer models to forecast rain for next Tuesday or predict the weather for next year.

Oceanographers have long env...

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