Texas A&M Oceanographer Advocates Ocean Observing Before Presidential Panel

Jul 10, 2014

Anthony H. Knap, director of the Geochemical and Environmental Research Group and the James R. Whatley Professor of Geosciences, will speak Friday morning (July 11) before the President’s Council of Advisors for Science and Technology (PCAST) about the need for a global ocean observing system to monitor changes in the world’s oceans.

The presentation is at the National Academy of Sciences Building in Washington, D.C. The panel discussion will be webcast live on Friday at 10:45 a.m. (EST): http://www.tvworldwide.com/events/pcast/140711/ 

Knap is a pioneer in applying technical advances to ocean observing and, since coming to Texas A&M in 2012, he has introduced a fleet of gliders—autonomous underwater vehicles used to measure physical aspects of oceans, including salinity, temperature, currents and other physical properties—among other innovations in ocean observing.

“As the ocean is over 70 percent of the globe and is storing the excess heat, we should have a more organized approach to measuring it, understanding it and conveying information about its health and activity,” Knap says.

“Changes in the oceans directly affect the world around us, including our climate, marine ecosystems and coastlines. We need a sustained global ocean observing system that measures these changes and impacts so that adaptive policies can be put in place.”

Knap envisions a worldwide system of ocean-observing instruments that uses underwater, surface and satellite technologies as a frontline defense in preparing the world for the changes occurring in our oceans, coasts and atmosphere.

“We can only manage what we can measure,” Knap says.

PCAST is an advisory group of the nation’s leading scientists and engineers who directly advise the President and the Executive Office. PCAST recommends policy on science, technology and innovation on topics that benefit the American people.