Ignatius Rigor

Senior Principal Research Scientist

PSC Department


Affiliate Assistant Professor, Oceanography

Sensor-Rich Buoys in the Arctic Ocean

Changing Sea Ice Requires Rapid Buoy Modifications

Improving Accuracy
Buoy Deployments

This test site is one of the ways we get a handle on the accuracy of our instruments so we can reliably tell how fast the Earth is warming, how fast climate is changing.

We know these buoys measure temperature within one tenth of one degree Celsius. We know we have some errors. We want to get a handle on those errors so we can determine how conclusive we are about statements we make in our research.

More About This Research

Members of the IABP maintain a network of drifting buoys on the Arctic Ocean. They provide meteorological and oceanographic data for real-time operational requirements and research.

The Arctic Ocean Buoy Program was established at APL-UW in 1979 and succeeded in 1991 by the IABP to pursue the same objectives. Today the Programme is composed of 20 research and operations institutions from nine countries.

The buoys' measurements of sea level pressue, surface air temperature, sea ice motion, snow depth, sea ice thickness, sea ice temperature, ocean temperature, and ocean salinity are used to:

  • study Arctic climate and climate change
  • forecast weather and ice conditions
  • validate satellite observations
  • force, validate and assimilate data into numerical models of climate
  • track the source and fate of samples taken from the ice