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A. Tracking Ocean Temperatures With Sound

Narrator: This is Science Today. Oceanographers at the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography have developed a new way to measure large-scale ocean temperatures. Peter Worcester says they're using sound transmissions to measure temperature changes over a 3,000 mile span.

Worcester: It takes about an hour for the sound to go that distance. So on this one measurement you get an average temperature and you can do it again a few minutes later, a day later, so you can get these rapid and repeated measurements of average temperature over very large areas.

Narrator: These acoustic measurements compliment current satellite techniques and may someday help scientists generate climate maps of the ocean, similar to those of the atmosphere.

Worcester: I think when we can do that, it's likely to really revolutionize our ability to understand how the atmosphere in the ocean interact to determine the long term changes from season to season, longer term climate changes. To really see how these two complicated systems work together to determine our weather and climate.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.