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E. Using the Atmosphere and Ocean to Determine Climate Change

Narrator: This is Science Today. Understanding day-to-day changes in the atmosphere has long been a key factor in determining the global climate, but it wasn't until fairly recently that scientists came up with a technique to measure such changes in the ocean. Peter Worcester, a research oceanographer at the University of California's Scripps Institution of Oceanography, has been working with acoustics to track large-scale changes in the ocean in an effort to draw maps similar to those of the atmosphere.

Worcester: We're really getting to the point where, not this year but maybe in five years, we'll be able to generate maps like that of the ocean. Temperature structures, salinity structure, its current structure. Up until now, oceanography's been kind of backwards relative to the atmosphere in that we haven't been able to measure the day-to-day changes.

Narrator: Worcester says ocean measurements are needed to determine the effects of global warming on the climate.

Worcester: The ocean can store more heat in its top few meters than the entire atmosphere. To understand what's happening to our planet in terms of it's climate, it's weather, you really need to understand both of these.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin