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Marine Ecology Progress Series

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MEPS 126:299-303 (1995)  -  doi:10.3354/meps126299

Use of seabirds to monitor sea-surface temperatures and to validate satellite remote-sensing measurements in the Southern Ocean

Weimerskirch H, Wilson RP, Guinet C, Koudil M

Changes in sea-surface temperature (SST) including the position of the sub-tropical convergence of the southern Indian Ocean were ascertained by using wandering albatrosses Diomedea exulans fitted with temperature recorders and by satellite tracking systems. Flight phases interspaced with frequent pauses on the sea means that albatrosses make useful tools for studying SST in the Southern Ocean, because in situ measurements (to validate satellite data) are rare because of the remoteness of the area. Comparison of satellite-derived data and measurements using albatrosses indicates a good relationship between the 2 sets of data. It is suggested that albatrosses could be useful for monitoring SST and validating satellite-derived data in remote areas of the Southern Ocean, particularly in winter when cloud cover precludes satellite measurements of SST.

Sea-surface temperatures . Bio-monitoring . Seabirds . Southern Ocean

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