India and US to reactivate observation system for Indian Ocean

News Excerpt:

India and the US have decided to reactivate the Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS) which fell into neglect and disrepair during the years of the COVID-19 pandemic.

More about the news:

  • The closing of IndOOS led to gaps in observational data which is considered crucial by weather forecasting, particularly since the links between the Indian Ocean Dipole phenomenon and monsoon were established.
  • The reactivation of IndOOS was discussed last month during a meeting of the Earth Sciences Secretary of India with the Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the US.
  • NOAA will provide the instrumentation and India will give ship time from July for restarting the IndOOS and  RAMA array.

Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS):

  • It is a network of 36 moored buoys in the high seas to collect high-resolution ocean and atmospheric data for weather forecasts.
  • It is a coordinated system of sustained ocean-based observing systems in the Indian Ocean designed to complement the constellation of earth-observing satellites. 
  • The moored buoys are part of the Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) programme that was born out of a collaboration between the Ministry of Earth Sciences and NOAA.

Research Moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and Prediction (RAMA) 

  • RAMA is the moored buoy component of the Indian Ocean Observing System (IndOOS).  
    • It is a system of moored observation buoys in the Indian Ocean that collects meteorological and oceanographic data.
  • It was established to address fundamental questions about the ocean’s role in monsoon dynamics.  
  • RAMA moored buoys are usually replaced once a year because sensors fall out of calibration and batteries run down. 

Significance of maritime observations:

  • Observations of the ocean are essential for operational services such as cyclone warnings, storm surge alerts, initial conditions for monsoon predictions and climate forecasts, tsunami warnings, and harmful algal bloom detection. 
  • The RAMA moored buoys also provide important verification data for air-sea flux products and satellite measurements.
  • Marine observations are crucial in monitoring and forecasting weather and climate over the Indian Ocean and the surrounding rim countries. 
  • They also help maintain long-term continuous maritime records, provide information on the ocean’s health, and are critical for establishing baselines to assess natural variability and human-forced climate change.

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